Published: March 23, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Boring Mean?

In trenchless technology, boring refers to the creation of a horizontal hole underground without disturbing the surface using directional drills and horizontal augers. The path created after the substrate is removed is called a bore and it’s within a bore that conduits for municipal or private utility services or pipelines may be installed. Boring is also a means of obtaining samples of a substrate for geological or chemical testing.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Boring

Boring is a central theme in trenchless technology. The bore must go where it’s supposed to, must be the right size for the conduits or pipelines it’s supposed to contain and must not damage other subsurface pipelines or conduits. Done properly, boring will not disturb the surface, buildings adjacent to the bore or the people who occupy the surface.

Before boring can commence, there are several steps, including geological investigations, on-site investigations to ensure a clear path for the proposed bore, and engineering and design work to ensure the bore is a perfect fit for the conduits or pipelines that will run through the bore.

Boring is done with horizontal directional drills and horizontal augers. These displace the earth (or other materials) in the bore and move it out of the bore as “spoil.” Although spoil removal from the work site is part of the boring process, it’s common to all underground construction, not just trenchless technology. Nonetheless, it must be planned for when planning a bore. After the bore is completed, the work of installing the conduits, pipelines or other underground equipment commences.

None of it would happen, though, without boring.





Horizontal Auger

Horizontal Directional Drilling

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