Should You Offer Horizontal Directional Drilling?

Popular for routine utility work, HDD has a place in recovery efforts too

Should You Offer Horizontal Directional Drilling?

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Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) has a role in disaster recovery efforts, particularly in situations where underground infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. Gearing up with the necessary equipment can add a new set of offerings for your company. 

Below are some ways HDD is used following disasters as well as a few advantages it provides. 

Rapid Infrastructure Repair 
After a disaster like an earthquake, hurricane, or flood, traditional methods of repairing underground utilities (such as water, gas, electricity, and telecommunications lines) can be time-consuming and disruptive. HDD allows for the quick installation or replacement of these vital services without the need for extensive excavation.

Minimizing Disruption
HDD minimizes disruption to the surface area. This is particularly important in urban environments where digging up streets, sidewalks, and other structures can be costly, time-consuming, and highly disruptive to communities trying to recover from a disaster.

Navigating Obstacles
HDD is effective at bypassing obstacles like buildings, roads, rivers, debris and other natural or man-made structures that may be present in disaster-affected areas. This capability is crucial for restoring services quickly.

Environmental Considerations
HDD is a more environmentally-friendly option compared to traditional open-cut methods. It reduces soil disturbance, minimizes disruption to natural habitats, and helps prevent soil erosion in areas that have likely already been disrupted and damaged. 

Mitigating Further Damage
In some cases, traditional excavation methods can further destabilize an already damaged area. HDD helps mitigate this risk by minimizing ground disturbance.

Crossing Sensitive Areas
HDD can be used to install utilities under sensitive areas like wetlands, water bodies, and protected habitats. This is especially important in disaster recovery when protecting these areas is critical.

Safety Considerations
HDD reduces the safety risks associated with traditional open-cut methods. There's less risk of accidents, such as trench collapses, which can be particularly dangerous in post-disaster environments.

Customized Solutions
HDD can be tailored to the specific needs of the recovery effort. It allows for precise control over the drilling path, depth, and alignment to ensure utilities are installed exactly where they're needed.

Remote Access
HDD can be operated from a distance, allowing operators to control the drilling process even in areas that may still be unsafe or difficult to access by personnel.

Overall, the use of horizontal directional drilling in disaster recovery efforts helps expedite the restoration of essential services while minimizing disruption and environmental impact. It's an invaluable tool for recovery teams working to rebuild communities.


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