How Moling Protects the Surrounding Environment During Infrastructure Development

In modern-day infrastructure development, the need for the use of trenchless technology has significant importance. When installing new services and underground apparatus, the demand for efficient, sustainable, and environmentally conscious solutions is at the top of the requirements of site owners, developers, and many other stakeholders involved in such projects. The introduction of moling services around fifty years ago eliminated costly and disruptive trench digging, allowing many industries to benefit from less invasive methods in laying pipes, ducts, and cables.

What is Moling and How Does it Differ From Traditional Trenching Methods?

The moling process holds many advantages over traditional methods. In summary, moling provides less disruption to the surface area, minimises damage to existing infrastructure, reduces environmental impact, and often results in faster and streamlined completion times.

What is Moling?

Moling is a trenchless method used to install pipelines cables, and other underground utilities without the need for extensive trench digging. It involves the use of a pneumatically-driven machine, often referred to as a mole, which burrows through the soil along a predetermined path to lay the required infrastructure. 

This effective method is particularly useful for laying or replacing old pipes such as water pipes, gas lines, heating coils for heat pump systems, and even sewage mains with minimal surface disruption.

How Does Moling Work?

Moling works by creating a bore between an entry and an exit pit rather than trenching a path, which causes much less disruption than traditional trench digging.

Mole emerging from exit pit

1.

The process begins with the creation of an entry and exit pit, which will determine the alignment and gradient of the path.

2.

A mole, which is a pneumatically-driven machine, is placed in the entry pit. It has a cylindrical shape with an inner piston and a pointed tip.

3.

Using an aiming sight, operators align the mole with the desired path to each pit to ensure proper alignment.

4.

The mole is powered by a pneumatic compressor and uses a hydraulic oiler to lubricate the moving parts inside whilst in operation. As it is activated, the mole hammers forward, punching into the soil and creating a borehole behind.

5.

The mole displaces the soil as it moves, rather than removing it, which minimises surface disruption.

6.

Pipes or cables are then pulled through the newly created tunnel.

Advantages of Selecting Moling Services Over Traditional Methods

As previously mentioned, pipe moling services reduce disruption to the surrounding environment. In addition to this, moling minimises the risk of damaging existing infrastructure  such as existing pipes, driveways, landscaping, and pavements, reducing repair costs and potential downtime. 

This method also results in quicker project completion times compared to traditional excavation methods, the overall cost of a project can be lower due to reduced labour, material, and restoration expenses and can be performed with minimal disruption to traffic flow, making it suitable for installations beneath roads.

With EPS Trenchless Installations, we can install 100 metres of piping a day depending on the soil conditions, and install up to twenty metres of pipe in one shot. For this, perfect ground conditions are required and most mole shots are between 10 – 15 meters.

What is the Difference Between Moling and Directional Drilling?

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD drilling) is necessary when the proposed works exceed the above lengths and diametres. This means that directional drilling is typically utilised for larger-scale projects where the lengths and diameters of the underground installations exceed what can be effectively achieved through moling. 

Unlike moling, which primarily creates horizontal tunnels over shorter distances, directional drilling allows for the creation of curved or angled boreholes, enabling installations at greater depths and covering more ground.

Directional drilling specifications:

Reduced Surface Disturbance

Again, moling provides the opportunity to minimise the impact on the surrounding environment, minimising the disturbance of soil, vegetation, wildlife habitats, pathways, etc. This is especially beneficial in areas that are protected such as conservation areas, SSSIs (Site of Special Scientific Interest, and RPZs (Root Protection Zones).

Reduction in CO2 Emissions

Moling typically requires less heavy machinery and transportation compared to traditional excavation methods, resulting in lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing the carbon footprint of infrastructure development projects, moling contributes to mitigating climate change and improving air quality.

Compliance with Environmental Regulations

Pipe moling services adhere to environmental regulations and guidelines to minimise the impact of construction activities on the environment. By complying with permitting requirements, implementing best practices, and incorporating environmental safeguards, moling helps ensure responsible and sustainable infrastructure development.

Call Our Expert Pipe Moling Contractors Today

With EPS Trenchless Installations, we prioritise customer satisfaction, conserving the environment and delivering high-quality moling services to a variety of industries. Moling technology and procedures are continually making advancements, and here at EPS, we ensure that we are ahead of the game and ensure that we deliver maximum results on your project with little impact on the surrounding area, the atmosphere, and your finances. 

We understand that each project has different needs and requirements, which is why we offer personalised solutions tailored to suit the specific demands of every client. 

Our team collaborates closely with you to assess your project goals, and constraints, and ensure a cost-effective solution, ensuring that our moling services align perfectly with your expectations. If you need a pipe replacement or new utilities laying, contact us today!