When it comes to underground utilities and directional drilling tools, it’s important to make sure everything is installed properly so that the utilities work appropriately and are in a safe place. To ensure that installation is done properly, hiring an experienced and professional team is a must.

This isn’t the only thing you need for a successful installation, though. Using the appropriate technology to help drill accurately is going to make underground utility projects easier and more reliable. Using a north seeking gyro like the Gyro Path® NSG from Bore Path will help you quickly survey drill sites to help install underground utilities properly. Keep the following in mind as well when you install underground utilities.

Utility Depth Must Be Measured

Whether underground utilities are being maintained or installed, the depth that they sit at must be measured. Utilities are often installed before any excavation, fill, or development happens on a site, which means that the surface grade can change. This will affect the depth that utilities sit at, so these depths need to be measured.

Be Diligent

Even if you have years of experience installing underground utilities, it’s important to never cut corners with your work. Just because you’ve done a job hundreds of times doesn’t mean nothing will go wrong with the next one. Make sure utilities are installed safely and effectively in the ground.

Visually Observe the Drill Head and Reamer

It’s important to visually observe the drill head as it passes the utility and again with the passing of the reamer. It’s important to do this with the reamer especially because it can shift during pullback and strike the utility. If you’re only exposing the depth of the existing utility, you may be in violation of OSHA regulations as well as ignoring proper practice.

Drill to the Appropriate Depth

When drilling to install utilities or cross a utility, it’s important that you don’t drill too deep just to avoid existing utilities. The deeper a drill goes to install utilities, the harder it is to expose the utility for current or future excavation. Not only that, but it can be difficult for locators to detect pre-existing utilities that are deeper than 10 feet. This can cause an underground strike that will go undetected.

On top of that, damage is also more difficult to repair if the utilities are installed too deep. Not only will there be a longer response time to repair any damage but it will be more expensive to repair.

Locate any Sewer Lines

Sewer lines must be located when installing new utilities. If a new utility intersects with the sewer, it will clog it and need to be repaired. A plumber will need to use a snake within the sewer to damage the other utility line. They are either at risk of electrocution if they damage an electric line or they put homes and businesses at risk of explosion if they damage a gas line.

There are ground penetrating radars that make it easy to locate sewer lines. There are also inspection camera systems that can be used to detect whether or not a sewer line has been breached by another utility.


When it comes to installing underground utilities, there are many things to keep in mind to ensure the safety of you, your team, and the public. It’s important to have experience, but it’s also important to use the appropriate equipment. Bore Path Services offers rugged and reliable technology for underground utilities and directional drilling tools. Learn more about the Gyro Path® NSG today and rent or purchase your borehole survey equipment from Bore Path Services.


Stay tuned for five more important things to remember when installing underground utilities.