In Pennsylvania, our team at Pipeshark values the environment and historical buildings in each community. Because of this, we are proud to offer innovative, trenchless-based solutions to solving various pipeline problems.
At Pipeshark, our team practices micro tunneling, a unique repair process for placing new pipelines underground while preserving the landscaping and infrastructure aboveground. This allows traffic and businesses to continue operating without incident, as this process is minimally disruptive and fast to deploy. This unique method is often recommended when a pipeline needs to be installed where roads, sidewalks, and buildings already exist.
How The Micro Tunneling Process Works
When we deploy micro tunneling, the work begins by drilling shafts at either end of the project. The starting shaft is used to get the drilling head to the underground level and line for the proposed pipeline. A cement base is poured in this shaft and a cement thrust wall is often formed. The cement base stabilizes the drilling head which is sometimes up to 40 meters in diameter, depending upon the type of tunnel required by the project. The cement base also supports the weight of the hydraulic jacks. The thrust wall provides push support for the hydraulic jacks that are used to drive the drilling head through the soil.
The drilling head is a complex structure with many parts. The front sections churn the soil. Rocks are ground down very small sizes. The head also guides a hose carrying water slurry from the surface base to the front of the drilling head. This slurry helps with the churning of the soil and the removing of the excavated material through a return hose back up to a surface retaining structure. The process of drilling is guided by a surface technician.
Our technician can see video feedback of a laser beam sent from the back of the drilling head to a target near the front. A camera that relays target and laser settings back to the surface is situated in the middle of the drilling head. Based on whether the laser is hitting the target, the controller can determine if the drilling process is continuing on the projected line and level. There are three steering cylinders near the front of the drilling head that allow the technician to maintain proper positioning and even create a curved tunnel when necessary. The technician is able to guide the drilling head with a plus or minus 1 inch in level or grade accuracy.
As the drilling head is pushed through the soil by the hydraulic jacks, space becomes available in the starting shaft for a section of the incoming pipe to be lowered to the tunnel. The first pipeline section is attached to the back of the drilling head and the slurry hoses and video feed are reconnected. The process continues until the drilling head reaches the end shaft and all the necessary pipeline sections have been connected and are lying as one united pipeline inside the tunnel.
The shaft at the end is used to remove the drilling head from the placed pipeline. Once the drilling head is moved back to the surface, both shafts can be buried or become manholes depending upon the type of pipeline that has been placed.
When Is Micro Tunneling Effective?
Pipeshark has years of experience performing micro-tunneling when necessary for:
- Various municipalities
- Commercial structures such as hospitals, and retail or professional buildings
- Food processing plants and other industrial or manufacturing complexes
- Military bases
- Specialty projects such as golf courses and national parks
Call Pipeshark For Micro Tunneling Services In Pennsylvania
Pipeshark is dedicated to providing you with expert support with pipeline or sewer line installation concerns and requirements. Call our team today to learn more about these services and how we can do the work while keeping your property intact.