Trench Digging? Consider These Issues

Whether digging trenches for French drains or other purposes, safety, efficiency, and care are needed. While you're eager to get the excavation task done so you can move forward with other project steps, you should be considering and handling these digging issues.

Getting Permits

You have likely started some kind of permit application for the overall project you're working on. However, you might not even have noticed that the excavating task itself is also likely to need permissions and approvals. Ensure you are discussing having an excavator on your property with permits office staff so they can recommend what applications are suitable. Avoid arranging for drop-off of the excavator until you're approved.

Marking Utilities

A disaster can unfold if property utilities aren't marked. The excavator can bang sewer pipes and create major leaks, or it can hit cable television lines, disrupting television, or internet services to not just your property, but others. Contact cable, electric, plumbing, and other companies you can think of so they can spray paint or flag where their lines lay on your property. In fact, your town might require this action before excavating starts.

Keeping Other Machines Away

Whenever trench digging begins, collapse of the trench is possible. This is exacerbated by the arrival or presence of huge trucks or other machines. Have equipment stay a considerable distance from any trench until it's completed and safety or construction measures make it secure.

Prevent Collapse

Until they're filled with concrete, re-filled, or otherwise made safe, there is a risk to anyone inside the trench or simply damage to the trench which makes re-excavation necessary. Whether using steps to allow people in and out--a practice called benching--or making use of aluminum or metal hydraulics to stop soil from shifting (this is called shoring), remain serious about keeping trenches empty until other work is done.

Make Soil Plans

If you aren't planning to put excavated soil right back into the trench after installing drains, pipes or other objects, provisions must be made for soil removal. In fact, before excavating, you may arrange tarps just outside the trench area so that the excavated soil is deposited right there and the tarps can be transported away later. You may have the soil collected for other use on the property or donate it to neighbors for other purposes.

Excavation is a simple practice. It's just important that you consider the above and create implementation plans that will permit success. For more information, contact a company like B.C.K. Specialties, Inc.