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About Trenchless Technology

Trenchless Technology, also known as No-Dig, is a broad-ranging term which covers the installation, repair and replacement of underground infrastructure with minimal surface excavation. Some major applications include wastewater pipelines, gas pipelines and telecommunications infrastructure. Trenchless Technology has many uses. The need to install, replace or renovate an underground utility service at the least cost; to minimise damage to the highways and disruption to traffic; to minimise any adverse impact on the environment and the need to maximise the safety aspects for both the workmen and the public are some of the many potential benefits from the technology. Trenchless Technology systems for underground utility services fall into three broad categories:

  • Installation of new services
  • On-line replacement, repair or renovation of existing services
  • Means of location, determining the condition and mapping of existing services.
Traditional open-cut excavation methods for installing, renovating or maintaining services are often disruptive and uneconomical, and the true social cost and environmental impact of such disruption is not always taken into account. This has resulted in an ever increasing demand for methods of pipeline installation and refurbishment which have the capability of performing this work without the need for trenching. Australia has had a long history of conventional pipe-cracking, horizontal boring and pipe-bursting, and continues to use such techniques with success. Pipe rehabilitation and renovation has also had a history of some thirty years in Australia. Recent studies have shown that there are now some 50 different rehabilitation methodologies and a similar number of trenchless installation methods in Australia and New Zealand.

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