In this most difficult of years it is nice to find a circumstance that has positively affected a section of the population. TRACTO-TECHNIK UK customer, Impact Utilities, is an experienced trenchless technology contractor based in Essex, UK. Prior to the start of nation-wide lockdown back in March 2020, the company won a contract to install new water mains to three large council-owned allotments in its locality. At the time it was not known that the government would encourage people to spend time on their allotments as part of their lockdown exercise regime. The timing of the connections could not have been better with the work completed just prior to the country closing down.
Moreover, thanks to the unique GRUNDODRILL 4X drilling rig, the work was carried out without the need to disrupt any of the plot holders, leaving them to continue tending their produce. A year earlier the mains water had been replaced at two other allotments in the region. The council opted for open trenching techniques during the fallow winter months. Whilst well-intentioned, the poor weather and relentless rain filled the open trenches with water, which overflowed; creating mess, mud and inconvenience.
To avoid this situation the council turned to a more innovative approach and, after consulting with Sam McKay from Impact Utilities, agreed to a no-dig solution. “Despite several decades of experience in building regs the contacts at the council had not previously encountered trenchless technology drilling solutions for utility connections. We explained that the allotments could remain open with clear access whilst only a few excavations would be required at a distance of 90 m apart.” Sam explained. The GRUNDODRILL 4X came into its own on this job. The compact dimensions of the tracked machine ensured that not only was access kept clear, but its tracks eliminated ground
damage and the underground drilling work caused no damage to any working areas of the land. The only visible excavations were for modest entry and exit pits.
The first job involved the installation of 1,009 m of new 32 mm diameter MDPE and was completed in 13 days including excavations, the installation of 9 stand pipes, ground chambers, isolation valves and all reinstatement works. Subsequent installations of 673 m and 458 m were completed in 10 and 7 days respectively.
“The council was delighted with the solution and the feedback from the plot holders was fantastic. Not one allotment was affected by the project and gardening work carried on
uninterrupted. For many gardening is their lifeline, particularly throughout the pandemic and we were delighted that we could complete the works without shutting down any of the sites and without hampering the plot holders.” said Sam.