Trenchless technologies

Discover all the benefits of trenchless technologies. Find out how they came to be and which methods are used today.

Trenchless technologies: everything you need to know about this safe and eco-friendly method of pipe repair.

Water and sewer pipe repairs no longer need to involve massive traffic closures, dug-up streets, and annoying inconvenience. Find out everything you need to know about trenchless technologies.

Across the world, outdated and damaged utility systems have been repaired using trenchless methods for more than 40 years. Even though trenchless methods are used in the Czech Republic, awareness of them is not widespread.

This is true despite the fact that common excavation methods cause problems such as inconvenient traffic restrictions, temporary unavailability of walkways and public roads, as well as complications in urban life, to say nothing of the environmental impact resulting from disrupting the landscape. The good news is that trenchless technologies are becoming increasingly more accessible due to the wide range of services they cover and constant development.

Definition of a trenchless technology

A trenchless technology is a form of underground construction project that requires no trenches on the surface level (or only requires them where pipes collapse). It uses technology for installing or replacing underground infrastructure without major disruptions on the surface.

In practice, it works so that when you walk along a street, all you see are two specialised installation vehicles, a few workers, and one small trench – the substantial part of the work is all happening below the ground.

Five principal benefits of using trenchless technologies

1. Trenchless technologies save time

Sewer repairs using traditional trenches take substantially more time than innovative trenchless repairs. This minimises the issues inherent in sewer pipe repairs.

The expediency of construction or restoration is also a result of the fact that there is no need to perform work associated with extensive excavation such as soil transport.

2. Trenchless technologies are more cost-effective

Completing sewer repairs using trenchless technologies is more advantageous because there is no need for construction work; for example, large-scale excavation and storage of soil or employing heavy construction machinery. Minimising excavation also means the costs of clean-up are lower.

3. Minimal impact on normal operation and life

Trenchless technologies mean less digging, reducing the damage to landscape and closures. Consequently, almost no subsequent landscaping is necessary.

4. High durability and long service life

Piping restoration based on a trenchless method always uses modern materials. The pipes resist cracking, as well as abrasion and chemicals. Professional providers guarantee a service life of up to 80 years.

5. Trenchless technologies are environmentally friendly

Unlike traditional excavation methods, trenchless technologies allow specialised equipment and techniques to be used that can replace or repair sewer pipes without causing any environmental damage. These methods minimally affect the fauna and flora in their native environment.

Two modern trenchless technologies for pipe restoration

There are multiple types of trenchless technologies on the market. We will briefly introduce you to two that are among the most frequently used and efficient.

Sewer rehabilitation using the UV Liner technology

UV Liner is a sleeve method where a seamless liner made of glass fibre with a grid structure is impregnated with a suitable resin and cured using UV light.

The sleeve’s smooth surface and thin wall greatly improve the pipe’s hydraulic properties under load. The sleeve can take high external and internal stress.

Find out more about the technology by clicking HERE>>

Trenchless sewer repairs using the INSAK method

INSAK is an inverted sleeve method. It is suitable for pipes of different materials and shapes. The liner is saturated with a resin and installed and cured inside the pipe using pressurised water or steam.

The outer layer of the sleeve is an impermeable PVC foil that forms a smooth internal surface in the pipe being refurbished. This improves the flow rate and tightness of the pipe being rehabilitated. In addition, the refurbished sewers become more flexible, so the pipes do not rupture in unstable soil. The installed liner is self-supporting.

Read more about the INSAK process>>

How did trenchless technologies come about? Let’s take a little trip into history…

The evolution of trenchless technologies is closely connected with the economic development of countries, and thus came to exist in advanced Western economies in three phases:

1. Trenchless technologies 1900–1960

The foundations for modern trenchless methods were laid by the necessity of reconstructing entire nations following World War II, particularly in the USA, Japan, and Europe. These were simple methods usable for motorway and railway crossings and so forth. The processes used included rotary drilling and manual lifting of pipes.

2. Trenchless technologies 1960–1985

With an improving standard of life, evolving transport, and modern processes, Western countries began upgrading trenchless methods, primarily to facilitate pipe replacement and repair. The trenchless technologies that we know today basically came into existence during this period.

3. Trenchless technologies 1985–today

Trenchless technologies began flourishing properly after 1985. The methods and equipment reached a higher level of sophistication, resulting in increased use. These developments went hand in hand with a need for improving environmental protection, saving costs, and reducing the impact on urban life.

Alongside the development of machinery and process equipment, the first trenchless method research institutes were founded. For example, the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) was established in the UK in 1986. As a consequence of this, trenchless methods received greater promotion and gained a foothold in the field of industrial restructuring.