Wet Utility Contractors

Wet utility contractors are vital for installing subsurface pipes such as water and sewer pipes and storm water drainage systems. These kinds of contractors are involved with the demolition; grading; installation, repair or removal of underground utilities; and restoration of the work site.

The types of projects wet utility contractors perform range from replacing deteriorated freshwater pipes and installing pre-cast pump houses to steel tank installation and repairing or installing water treatment systems, to name a few.

There are many steps involved with installing wet utilities. In addition to developing construction blueprints, the jobsite is surveyed using subsurface utility engineering SUE methods.

SUE is a vital component for identifying the presence of existing utilities. SUE mitigates accidents that can occur when pipeline contractors begin trenching. These methods not only provide a safer work environment, but also reduce projects costs and minimize work delays.

Wet utility contractors undergo considerable training because they are exposed to high-risk elements and work with dangerous equipment and materials. Contractors must be in compliance with OSHA and HAZMAT regulations and abide by excavation, trenching, and shoring safety guidelines.

Construction safety must be a top priority when conducting underground utility work. Excavation projects present a unique set of problems that demand precise planning and constant management of the project.

Workers are exposed to the potential of cave-ins of adjacent soil where utility work takes place. There is potential for accidental contact with utility lines and exposure to hazardous atmospheres such as toxic chemicals, gas leaks, or explosions.

Much of the equipment used with subsurface utility work poses hazards such as being struck or crushed by heavy machinery or pipes. Workplace accidents can be avoided by conducting site-specific jobsite surveys and making certain employees receive adequate training.

Preparing worksites can be a tedious process. Once the site is surveyed, contractors grade the land in preparation for pipeline installation. A protective system is installed to shore up the earth around the location where underground pipes and other related structures are being positioned.

Once pipes are installed they are tested for structural integrity and performance. Upon satisfactory testing, trenches are backfilled and crews restore the workplace to its original condition.

The type of pipes and installation process varies depending on the type of work performed. Installing storm drainage systems is different than installing gas pipelines or sewer systems.

One of the greater challenges of wet utility contractors is water. In situations where excavation involves trenching below the existing water table, contractors have no choice but to dewater the work area before installation can commence. Oftentimes, this will require additional rock bedding to ensure that the bottom of the trench is stabilized and does not sink or shift with the subsequent pipeline installation. Rock bedding helps prevent poor workmanship, such as a "belly" or dipped installation. This is a very expensive process in both time and materials, but ultimately ensures a quality product that will not fail in its purpose.

Dewatering excavation sites can involve making use of pumps, siphons, wellpoints, and cutoff walls. Wellpoints is the most expensive and complex dewatering application and involves attaching vertical wellpoints to a header pipe and vacuum/discharge pump used to jet water into the ground.

As you can see, wet utility construction is a complex task that includes many variables and risks. It's vital to work with experienced contractors, such as Kana Pipeline, to ensure work is performed in compliance with federal and state regulations.

As wet utility contractors in southern California since 1984, we excel at construction safety and provide exceptional pipeline installation services at affordable prices. Our knowledgeable staff of over 100 years combined experience, is available to provide you with proposals for residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, or municipal construction jobs. Contact us today and let us be your wet utility contractor of choice.