February 26, 2019

The Dangers of Cross Boring and How to Eliminate Them

Cross boring is an issue that many municipalities and public utility companies deal with. When working on underground projects, construction companies can unintentionally install one utility through another. The risk of cross boring is heightened as more utility companies move towards trenchless technology that foregoes the traditional method of excavating large holes for utility lines. Old maps and poor recording keeping can hurt the accuracy of drilling new lines. As a result, the lines are in closer proximity and can become a problem. Cross boring occurs when a new line is drilled through an existing one. The lines are so close together that they can be punctured or torn. Read the information below to learn why cross bores are a danger and what can be done about them.

Dangers of Cross Boring

The main reason that cross boring is dangerous is that a ruptured line can cause damage to the area and the people working on them. If the ruptured line is a gas line, then obviously there is a fire and combustion threat. Likewise, electrical lines pose a safety concern for anyone in the area. Cross bores can go undetected for long periods of time, and dangerous situations can arise quickly. Because utility companies are using trenchless technology more, often lines are closer to the surface. If a cross bore between a storm sewer and a gas line occurs, it doesn’t take much for enough gas to accumulate and ignite from sparks thrown off by a passing vehicle.

Preventing Cross Bores

Preconstruction planning is the most important step in preventing cross bores. Companies need to ensure they have the best markings and records available so they can drill with confidence. The use of CCTV when installing is another great way to ensure safety in case there are inaccurate records. If companies encounter or cause damage to existing lines, they should document each instance so the proper repairs can be done.

What to Do with a Cross Bore

When companies encounter a cross bore, they need to remember that no mechanical cutting tool should be used to clear a line. As a precaution, call the local gas company to find out where the gas lines in the area are. Before any steps are made to fix a clog caused by a cross bore, make sure all cross bores are identified. Taking the time to make sure the entire scene is safe before a repair will prevent further damage.

Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) repair is the preferred method of repairing cross boring and other damaged pipes. CIPP requires that only the damaged portion of a pipe be replaced rather than the entire line. With cross borings, it allows companies to use CIPP to repair only the portion of a line impacted by a cross bore. CIPP is a revolutionary method of pipe repair that can save utility companies thousands in repair costs. Contact us today to learn more about CIPP.