How To Prepare For An Excavation Of Your Sewer Line

Posted on: 25 June 2014

The excavation of a home sewer line usually requires a machine like a mini-excavator with a professional operator, according to Compact Power Equipment Rental. This procedure also requires preparation which you can perform if you're already proficient in landscaping tasks. The following steps will show you how to get your property ready for excavating your sewer line.

Choose the Route

Select a route for the sewer line that causes minimal damage to your property. Excavation can kill plants by cutting their roots, even if it doesn't dig up the body of the plant. You can also cause structures such as driveways and sidewalks to collapse if you undermine them.

Analyze the Soil

The soil type has a significant effect on an excavation project. Loose, stony soil and sandy soil makes it difficult to dig a straight trench, particularly if it's also deep. The best soil for excavation is hard with a clay base.

Form the soil into a baseball-sized sphere. It's loose or sandy if it can't maintain this shape. These soils may require your trench to take a more circuitous route with additional support for the sides, commonly known as shoring.

Plan the Slope

Some plumbing systems are passive, meaning that gravity is the only force that moves waste water from its source to its discharge location. The slope of the trench is especially critical for passive systems.

Balkan Plumbing advises that a slope of two percent is the minimum slope for a sewer line, which is approximately equal to a drop of ¼ inch of drop for each foot of line.

Shore the Sides

Trenches require shoring to prevent the sides from caving in during the excavation. The shoring for a small trench may consist of a series of posts supporting plywood sheets. Larger excavations may require trench boxes, and very large trenches may need sheet piling.

Remove the Water

A wet excavation site will require you to provide some means of removing water as it seeps into the work site. This often requires the use of a diaphragm pump for sites with a low rate of seepage. Sites with higher seepage may need a system of pipe wells to intercept the flow of ground water into the excavation site.

Bench the Excavation

Excavation in loose soil is especially likely to require benching, a method for preventing the soil from falling into the trench. Benching generally involves creating a series of steps on the sides of the trench, which limits the amount of loose soil that each step must support.

Contact a local excavating contractor from a company like Arctic Backhoe Services Ltd if you need to have a sewer line excavated. A contractor can also provide you with guidance on preparing your property for the excavation.