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Why no-dig and trenchless technology is so important

As we look forward to exhibiting at the upcoming No-Dig Live conference for the fifth consecutive time, we wanted to write a blog post that explains why we think no-dig and trenchless technology is worth celebrating.


Before we get into all that, firstly it’s important to define what we actually mean by this kind of equipment. Thankfully the UK Society of Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) already has a nice definition – it says “no-dig or trenchless technology is the science of installing, repairing or renewing underground pipes, ducts and cables using techniques that minimise or eliminate the need for excavation”.


So why has trenchless technology become so popular over the last few years? Well, it’s because it brings with it a range of advantages:

  • Improved cost and time effectiveness – Solutions implemented using trenchless technology are often quicker, and therefore cheaper, because excavation is not required. This also means the rehabilitation time for the area is much shorter, reducing project times further.
  • Reduced impact on the environment – Trenchless works generally require much less energy and material, meaning the carbon footprint is much improved compared to open-cut methods. This is further improved by the fact that fuel-heavy apparatus is generally not required on projects of this kind. In addition, noise pollution is invariably reduced.
  • Reduced impact on the local area – Because excavation is not required, it means the impact on local businesses, public areas and transport infrastructure is significantly lower than with open-cut methods.
  • Improved worker/public safety – Without the risk of excavations collapsing and materials, equipment and people falling into excavations, workers and the public are considerably safer.

Types of trenchless technology

There are many different kinds of no-dig technology that can offer the benefits described above – it all depends on the circumstances and the challenges to overcome.

At Buckhurst, for example, our trenchless equipment includes:

  • Pipe relining rigs – a spray lining rig for applying various products, including epoxy products, to water quality and semi-structural water main pipelining.
  • Chlorination spray rigs – these deliver a uniform fine mist spray of chlorinated water throughout a water main. This significantly reduces the amount of water used and increases the surface area of application in the process of chlorinating water mains before being reconnected to the infrastructure.
  • Tractor winches – a robust and reliable method of slip-lining and mains scraping.
  • Bursting rigs – used to replace buried pipelines without the need for a traditional construction trench.
  • Wade blowers – a unique piece of kit developed to dry out water mains in preparation for spray lining application.

However, as made clear on the UKSTT website, this kind of technology is ideal for many different purposes, including:

  • Inspection and detection
  • Cleaning
  • Replacement and extraction
  • Pipe and cable laying
  • Keyhole technology

The final word

No-dig tech has been around for a number of decades, but only now can we see its full potential. Companies across the world are creating more and more innovative instruments and techniques that are less and less disruptive. It’s our version of keyhole surgery, which is why exhibitions like No-Dig Live are so popular, and celebrate the amazing work being done to solve serious problems with the minimum of hassle.

Published by Lee Gansler on September 19, 2016 at 12:00 AM

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