Trenchless Technology

SEP 2018

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82 T R E N C H L E S S T EC H N O LO GY S E P T E M B E R 2018 L A S T W O R D THE DISTRIBUTION Contractors Association (DCA) recently conduct- ed a Washington Fly-In to visit with federal agencies on the topic of hori- zontal directional drilling (HDD). While educating federal policymak- ers about the HDD process, the equip - ment and luids used, and the many bene its that come with an HDD proj- ect is always a good idea, nothing is more educational than seeing HDD in action irst hand. On June 5, mem- bers of DCA's Government Relations Committee and HDD Committee con- ducted a demonstration of HDD on the Washington Mall , where a range of interested stakeholders were able to witness the HDD process up close and personal . Ensuring Fresh Water at National Monuments The project is daunting one, where the National Park Service (NPS) is replacing and rehabilitating the existing potable water system on the National Mall . They are now into the second phase of the project , which includes replacing water lines around the Lincoln Memorial , Vietnam M e m o r i a l , Ko re a n M e m o r i a l , Washington Monument , Jefferson Memorial , John Paul Jones Memorial , and the athletic ields behind the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial . This includes multiple main line pipe runs ranging from 8- to 12- and 1- to 2- service lines to reconnect existing connections to water foun- tains and comfort stations. There are also several new ire hydrants being installed on the Mall as well once the new main lines have been installed. Midwest Mole told us that the ground conditions are very inconsis- tent throughout the Mall which has caused numerous challenges in installing the pipes. HDD was the method of choice because of its abil - ity to limit disruptions, allowing countless tourists to enjoy their visit to the Nation's Capital without being disrupted by construction activities. The NPS replacement work is being conducted by Midwest Mole, a trench- less contractor based out of Green ield, IN. The contractor works on infra- structure projects throughout the country installing new or replacing existing water, sewer, electric, tele- communications, or gas lines. Variety of Stakeholders Represented Well in advance of the demonstra- tion, DCA staff reached out to audi- ences on Capitol Hill , as well as sev- eral industry and labor organizations to invite them to the demonstration. On the day of the demo, we were pleased to see a strong showing of some 30 individuals attend. Because Vermeer has a long history in the Great State of Iowa , I was very pleased to see several representatives from the of ices of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) come see Vermeer equipment work- ing to make the National Mall a more enjoyable place by helping to provide clean and safe drinking water for countless visitors from around the world. In addition, staff representing law- makers from Indiana and Kentucky made it out to see HDD in action. It was rewarding to see players on Capitol Hill come out to see their constituents at work. Other participants included repre- sentatives from the American Gas Association , American Petroleum Institute, Association of Equipment Manufacturers , Nat ional Ut ili t y Contractors Association, and Energy a n d Eq u i p m e n t I n f ra st r uc t u re Alliance. As always, our good friends from the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) joined us for the demonstration and brought several representatives. DCA was particularly pleased to see the " BlueGreen Alliance" (BGA) in attendance. BGA is made up of sev- eral American labor unions and some of the most in luential environmen- tal organizations who work collec- tively "to solve today 's environmen- tal challenges in ways that create and maintain quality jobs and build a s t r o n g e r, f a i r e r e c o n o my." Understanding that BGA represents both labor and environmental advo - cates, and that any reference to "directional drilling " tends to send green groups into a tizzy, educating that side of the BGA is toward the top of our priority list . B G A re p re s e n t a t i v e s w e re impressed to see how non-invasive HDD is to the local environment and learned that HDD employs tens of thousands of workers engaged in underground utility installation in gas, oil , water, sewer, iber and power markets across the country. Attendees were introduced to the equipment , from the drilling rig to the boar head and all related trans- mitters, receivers, magnetic guidance systems and drilling luids needed to make HDD happen . The role Bentonite and how it is used in the process was explained as attendees watched the process happen in real time, beginning at the entry point . The crowd walked several hundred yards and regrouped at the exit point by the Washington Monument , where attendees witnessed the drill head exit the bore, along with the slurry that provides the necessary lubrication during the process. You can talk about the many ben- e its of HDD until you're blue in the face, but demonstrating the practice live and in-person is priceless. They say "seeing is believing ," and DCA's last Fly-in allowed a range of stake- holders the opportunity to see it for themselves. Special thanks for the generous hospitality of the ine people at Midwest Mole for hosting this impor- tant event . Dave Wisniewski is vice president, utility and environmental commercial- ization at Vermeer. BY D AV E W I S N I E W S K I D C A S h o w c a s e s H D D o n N at i o n a l M a l l

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