What is Trenchless Sewer Replacement?

Until recently, sewer replacements meant major excavation resulting in the damage and removal of lawns, trees, concrete surfaces, driveways, asphalt roadways and other valuable structures. Trenching from point A to point B was not only expensive, it was destructive as well. Unforeseen obstacles encountered in the course of excavating could add considerable time and cost to any project. Trenchless sewer replacements do not require major excavating. Yes, some strategically placed holes are dug, but there is nowhere near the disruption and disturbance to your landscaping that is experienced in the old-fashioned “dig it up” method.

Your San Francisco Trenchless Sewer Contractor

san francisco trenchless sewerThe San Francisco sewer contractors at Discount Plumbing  provide time and money saving – not to mention landscape saving! – Trenchless Sewer Services for homeowners and businesses in our service areas. In some parts of the world, open cut replacement may still be the preferred method for water and sewer pipe replacement. These are typically areas where trenching does not create an inconvenience or where local sewer contractors, engineers, and service directors are either unaware or unwilling to try a new, albeit proven, technology. However, in virtually every situation, pipe bursting – also commonly referred to as trenchless sewer replacement services – has substantial advantages over the open trench methods. San Francisco trenchless sewer pipe replacement is faster, more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and less disruptive to surface features.

This is especially true with sewer line replacements where greater depths can increase the cost of open cut because of extra excavations, shoring, and dewatering. Enhanced depths have very little effect on the cost of pipe bursting because the amount of excavation is substantially less. Additionally, there are indirect costs of increased traffic disturbance, longer construction times, longer interruption, and even irreparable damage when the loss of old growth trees is considered.

With open trenching methods of pipe replacement, there is greater stress relief in the ground as the trench is dug, moving unconfined ground inward and down. Service lines parallel to trenching can displace laterally and downward, and service lines crossing a trench are apt to sag. These issues do not occur with pipe bursting because there is less overall ground disturbance.

Finally, open cut replacement involves cutting through pavement structures which can reduce the life of the road through backfill settlement and adjacent ground movements.

Because pipe bursting requires less of this type of intrusion to the road bed, the long term costs in overall remediation are dramatically reduced. When comparing open cut pipe replacement with pipe bursting all costs must be calculated and considered to determine feasibility. Whether considering true costs such as pavement saw cutting, excavations, trucking and dump fees, backfill, compaction, concrete or asphalt, and traffic control, or the high social costs of traffic and business disruption, time and mess of open cut, reduction of pavement life and environmental mitigation, pipe bursting is clearly the smarter, easier, and more economical solution to water and sewer pipe replacement.


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