9 Ways That Directional Drilling Helps Preserve the Environment

Many of our clients raise concerns about the environmental impact when contacting us about their drilling projects. The environment holds a whole host of woodland ecosystems, aquatic habitats, and diverse wildlife, and, as individuals, we have a responsibility to protect and preserve the environment before, during, and after any residential or commercial drilling projects.

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD drilling) is an innovative and eco-friendly method that offers several advantages when attempting to minimise the environmental impact of drilling operations.

This means that essentially, wherever your project may be, horizontal drilling techniques will have minimal impact on your location and the surrounding area.

What is Horizontal Directional Drilling?

Directional drilling, developed in the 1980s from oil exploration technology, installing pipelines under obstacles like rivers and roads with minimal disturbance. It involves using advanced technologies and drilling a pilot bore along a predetermined path using a fluid-assisted angular drill head or mud motor.

Progress data is transmitted to a receiver at the drill rig, and monitored via handheld VDU or remote tracking systems. After the pilot bore, a back-reamer enlarges the diameter, followed by product pipe installation. This method reduces environmental impact compared to traditional installation methods.

Why Would You Need HDD Drilling?

HDD drilling allows for the installation of underground utilities with minimal impact on the surface. This is especially beneficial in urban or residential areas where traditional trenching would be disruptive.

Traditional methods, or vertical drilling methods, cause unsightly mess and disturbance to the environment, not to mention costing you hundreds of thousands of pounds to dig the trench, carry out the work, and fill back in the trench. Additionally, you may be left to fill the trench yourself and clean up the area, so opting for professional horizontal directional drilling contractors will ensure that your location is exactly like it was before the work began.

Why Does Directional Drilling Have A Low Impact on the Environment?

As the urgency for environmental preservation grows, industries face increasing pressure to ensure they are conducting sustainable practices in every aspect of their business. In this context, employing directional techniques becomes increasingly important to minimise environmental impact while meeting infrastructure needs.

1. Reduce Surface Disturbance

Channelling horizontally underground results in minimal disturbance of the ground while still accessing resources efficiently. This approach not only mitigates habitat disruption but also reduces the need for extensive land clearing and infrastructure development compared to traditional drilling methods.

As a result, the environmental footprint of drilling operations is significantly reduced, contributing to preserving the ecosystems and natural landscapes.

2. Protect Sensitive Areas

Directional drilling allows for precise navigation under the ground’s surface in a variety of soil conditions, enabling drillers to avoid sensitive areas. By bypassing these regions, the risk of disturbing these crucial ecosystems is greatly reduced.

Areas such as SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest), Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), Root Protection Zones (RPTs), and Ancient Woodlands are protected, ensuring the conservation of their unique ecological, botanical, or historical significance.

Conventional drilling in these areas could disrupt fragile ecosystems, damage important habitats, harm rare or endangered species, or destroy irreplaceable cultural heritage. As a result, they are safeguarded to preserve their natural and cultural value for future generations.

3. Prevent Water Contamination

One of the greatest concerns of our clients with drilling operations is the potential contamination of water sources. With horizontal directional drilling, the risk of accidental spillage or leakage into rivers, lakes, and groundwater is significantly minimised. The process allows HDD drilling contractors to drill underneath water bodies, ensuring the preservation of clean and uncontaminated water sources.

4. Mitigation of Noise and Air Pollution

Traditional trenching methods can be noisy and emit harmful pollutants into the air. Directional drilling helps mitigate these environmental impacts by minimising noise levels and reducing air pollution. This is achieved by employing advanced drilling technologies and equipment that feature quieter operation mechanisms and implement efficient emissions controls.

HDD drilling techniques significantly diminish noise levels compared to traditional methods, mitigating disturbances to local communities and wildlife habitats.

5. Regulatory Compliance and Monitoring

Directional drilling ensures compliance with environmental regulations and standards set by governing bodies. Professional HDD drilling contractors are knowledgeable about all regulations surrounding environmental protection and drilling activities.

Before starting any project, thorough assessments are conducted to identify potential environmental risks and ensure all necessary permits are obtained. Throughout the drilling process, monitoring tools are used to track progress and detect any potential environmental impacts, allowing for immediate response and mitigation measures if needed.

At EPS Trenchless Installations, we survey your area to ensure that your underground drilling project will run smoothly. We also adhere strictly to environmental regulations and guidelines to ensure that our drilling operations meet all necessary standards for environmental protection whilst meeting your directional drilling specifications.

6. Decreased Habitat Fragmentation

Environmental preservation is a key priority for many industries, including drilling operations. One way in which directional drilling helps in this regard is by reducing habitat fragmentation. Traditional drilling methods can disrupt ecosystems and fragment habitats, but directional drilling minimises these disturbances by allowing for more precise and controlled excavation.

7. Reduced Carbon Emissions

Employing advanced technologies in directional drilling contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions. Modern machines are designed to be more compact and efficient, requiring less space and reducing the overall environmental impact.

The sophisticated operation allows for quieter and cleaner drilling, which not only lowers carbon emissions but also reduces other forms of pollution.

8. Use of Advanced Technologies

By employing advanced technologies to meet our clients' directional drilling specifications, we can minimise the environmental impact of our drilling operations. in an environmentally friendly manner. We can successfully plan and survey a proposed drilling route, uncovering any obstacles or unforeseen issues before the work commences, therefore ensuring minimal disruption to natural habitats and ecosystems.

Additionally, our utilisation of advanced monitoring systems allows us to closely track drilling progress and environmental indicators in real-time, enabling quick adjustments to mitigate any potential environmental risks.

9. Preservation of Agricultural Land

Directional drilling helps preserve valuable agricultural land by minimising disruption to fields and crops. By employing trenchless technology, farmers can continue their operations with minimal interference, ensuring the preservation of valuable agricultural resources.

Minimise Your Environmental Impact and Choose Our Expert Horizontal Directional Drilling Services

There’s no need for outdated deep excavations, we can operate through various ground types and specialist locations. By leveraging advanced drilling techniques and trenchless technology, we minimise the environmental impact of our operations while maximising efficiency and precision to suit your directional drilling specifications.

Our HDD drilling contractors minimise surface disturbances, reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional excavation methods. This forward-thinking approach not only allows us to navigate various ground types and specialist locations with ease but also reinforces our dedication to environmental responsibility.