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Help Prevent Cross Bores : Cross Bore Safety

What is a cross bore?

There are two words no contractor or municipal engineer wants to hear : cross bore. A cross bore is what happens when one underground utility intersects another. Most worrying is when a gas line punches through a sewer main or lateral. Cross bore risk has risen with the use of trenchless technologies like horizontal directional drilling because the operator can't physically see what's in the immediate vicinity of the drill bit.

Cross Bore Locating :

When cross bores exist in a sanitary sewer or storm drain system, it presents a tremendously hazardous situation. Cloud 9 Services is able to quickly locate cross bores through a combination of CCTV camera inspections of mainline pipes and sewer service lines and with highly accurate GPS data collection.

Trenchless technologies (moles, plows, horizontal directional drilling, etc.) have been utilized since the 1970s to bore natural gas lines in the United States. On the surface, natural gas line boring seems non-invasive. However, in reality, boring equipment is manufactured to penetrate almost anything in its path.

Safety Precautions :

Often times, sewer lines are not marked, leaving the potential for natural gas lines to be bored through the sewer lines. A cross bore can go undetected for months, even years. Eventually, a backup develops and a technician is called to remove the blockage. This almost always damages the utility line bored through the sewer line. If a natural gas line is damaged, gas can migrate into homes and buildings and endanger your safety and your property.

Before starting the process of cleaning out a sewer pipeline, always remember to first get a video pipe inspection done to identify the condition of the sewer pipeline.

Stay Alert Until the Job is Done :

Even if you know where the cross bores are located, you still need to be careful throughout the job to make sure nothing goes wrong. During the process of cleaning out a sewer pipeline, stay alert for any unusual conditions that may happen throughout the job, such as :

  • Hissing sounds

  • Natural gas odor

  • Blowing dirt

  • Bubbling water

If you suspect a natural gas leak or that contact with a natural gas leak has occurred :

  • Stop all work

  • Leave the premises immediately and instruct others to leave the premises immediately

  • Contact the gas company for the area

  • Call 911

  • Keep other people a safe distance away

  • Don't operate any equipment

  • Eliminate any source of ignition

  • Don't operate any pipeline equipment of facility

Raising Cross Bore Awareness :

Construction activity continues to increase across the country, underscoring the need for steadfast dedication to prevent damages to underground facilities. Cross bores, or intersections of existing underground utilities by a second utility during installation, are enduring problems carrying potentially disastrous consequences. When analyzing the underlying causes of cross bores, as well as alternative ways to address and reduce them, a lack of consistency and clarity is evident among the key stakeholders.

Close working relationships between contractors and their customers in the gas distribution industry can go a long way to reduce cross bores. However, further action is needed by gas utilities, local and state government agencies, as well as the federal government to ultimately turn the reduction of cross bores into total prevention.

We at Cloud 9 Services believes that following practices and actions will collectively help raise awareness and prevent cross bore scenarios and facility damages across the country.

Always Hire a Professional :

Do you have a project that requires cross bores to be worked around?

Cloud 9 Services are professional underground utility contractors, specializing in all things that deal with underground utilities, including but not limited to cross bores. At Cloud 9 Services, Inc. we are equipped to handle all your cross bore locating and inspecting needs. We are also well versed in the safety practices needed to prevent cross bore explosions from happening.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a service, please contact us, 407-481-2750, and one of our underground utility contractors would be happy to assist you.

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