When You Use Trenchless Technology
Using a directional drill, auger or other form of trenchless technology can be like threading a large needle through a maze of existing underground utility lines—while blindfolded! Subterranean smarts and safe drilling practices are the keys to success.
It’s always essential to notify 811 before you dig to have underground electric lines and other utilities located and marked, but you’ve got to take it a step further when you use trenchless technology:
Worker operating directional drill
  Be sure to inform the operator about your equipment when you notify 811 for a dig ticket.
  Pre-mark your proposed route with white paint, stakes and/or flags. This will help locators identify all utility lines in your excavation area.
  Consider soil conditions. Many factors, including sandy soil or a shallow water table, will affect the depth at which you can safely drill without cave-in worries.
Directional drilling
  Dig potholes and visually monitor your bore head as you cross each buried utility. If using a hydrovac, use higher flow, less pressure, and a spinner tip to prevent damage to underground utilities.
  Keep a safe distance.
Stay at least 3 feet away from all sides of any underground utility line. Watch the drill head cross utility lines during the initial bore and also during backreaming to ensure you maintain this minimum clearance.
  Calibrate. Be sure to calibrate your bore head and locating device before every job.
  Don’t forget the backream. Remember, your locating device will monitor the bore head on the pilot pass, but may not be able to monitor the backream head. Plan accordingly if you have to expand the diameter of your bore before installation, and always observe the bore when crossing a buried utilities during the backream.
Would You Like to Know More?
Additional overhead and digging guidelines, case studies, instructional video and training tools can be found, at no charge to you, on Duquesne Light’s e-SMARTworkers website.
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call 911 and
Duquesne Light at
888-393-7000 or

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