When a drilling job needs to be done under or around existing infrastructure, watercourses, dikes or other obstacles, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) becomes the best course of action. Whenever trenching or open excavating is not possible, HDD is the best alternative. With minimal impact on the surrounding area of the drill site, HDD is a steerable, trenchless method of installing underground pipes, conduits and cables. Often a single area can be used to install different pipes, further decreasing the amount of impact HDD has on the environment compared to open cutting. This is usually done in a shallow arc along a prescribed path by using a surface-launched drilling rig.

HDD wire and cable

Benefits of Horizontal Directional Drilling

While HDD is, more often than not, more costly than traditional trenching, there are many benefits that outweigh the costs including:

  • Reduced soil disturbance
  • Reduction of fractures to existing rock formations
  • Drill beneath surface obstructions or other ongoing site operations
  • Reduction of contamination of groundwater pollution
  • Safer operation than open cut trenching
  • Weather does not directly impact the process
  • Ideal for sites sensitive to surface disruption:
    • heavy roadways, airport runways, golf courses, etc.
  • Does not disturb the ecosystem
  • HDD produces twice the amount of traditional trenching

Connecting utilities is a major reason trenching or directional drilling is used. While trenching can be used and generally is the most common way to install and connect utilities, HDD can go under roads, sidewalks, rivers, and even houses with little to no disturbance. These jobs were once thought of as impossible but thanks to directional drilling, that thinking is now outdated.

Performance Wire and Cable has the highest quality stainless steel HDD wire for the job of locating natural gas pipes within HDD activities. 

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