Directional boring, commonly called Horizontal Directional Drilling, or HDD, is a method of installing underground pipes and conduits along a prescribed bore path from the surface, with minimal impact to the surrounding area. A drill rig is set up in the desired area, and a drill bit connected to a long flexible arm is inserted into the earth. That drill bit cuts away at the earth as it travels horizontally along its desired path toward the set GPS marker, which is where we want the other end of the bit to come up. Once we reach the destination and come back up out of the ground, we attach the pipe and pull it back through to the other side. Horizontal Directional Drilling is a great alternative to trenching because it is minimally invasive to the surrounding landscape, more effective and flexible in drilling, better for the environment, and cuts down on total installation time.
Horizontal Directional Drilling is a way to bury tubing, piping or lines beneath the earth without massive amounts of trenching. It utilizes a small drilling rig with a drill bit on the end of a long, flexible shaft, and a GPS locator for pinpointing where the drill bit will come up. The drill bit is inserted into the ground, and drills down to the targeted depth. Once it reaches that depth, the operator levels the bit and drills out horizontally hundreds of feet. When the desired length is reached, the operator then surfaces the bit to come out right by the GPS locator, providing a long hole in the ground that is able to go beneath just about anything to run lines, piping or tubes to a desired location.HDD provides a great alternative to traditional trenching, and is less invasive, less expensive, and doesn’t tear up the area like trenching does.
Faster to Install
Deeper Installation Possible
Longer Installation Possible
Directional boring has evolved steadily over the last 30 years and is now the preferred method on many installations due to its low cost and low impact on surroundings. It is generally less expensive than other methods such as micro-tunneling, jack and bore, and open trenching in urban areas. In urban areas it can not only save a considerable amount on installation cost, it can provide a tremendous amount of public goodwill.
When designing a project for HDD, it is important to have accurate geo-technical data, along with sufficient space for the bore rig and support equipment.
HDD is used for installing telecommunications and power cable conduits, water lines, geothermal loops and headers, sewer, gas and oil lines. It is used for crossing waterways, roadways, shore approaches, congested areas, environmentally sensitive areas and any area where other methods are more expensive.
Pipe which can be used for directional boring installations includes HDPE, mechanical joint PVC, and steel.