Inspector looking at materials used for pipeline construction.

What are the Best Practices for Pipeline Construction?

The utility service industry has been improving its technology since the beginning of the 21st century, with newer trenching and fracking techniques. However, at the same time, with the increasing environmental concerns and the continuing rise of ‘concrete jungles,’ compliance protocols and rules have also become stricter.

As cities are growing and the need for utilities grows, the demand for pipeline construction is also increasing. From water to gas, oil, and more, new pipelines are being constructed, and the smallest mistake along the way can lead to costly operational shut-downs, PR issues, fines, and delays.

So with that in mind, here are some key findings from inspectors in Utah, including best practices to keep in mind during pipeline construction, as per code and inspector experience.

Best Practices for Pipeline Construction in Utah

Communication is Key

One of the biggest reasons projects fail or are delayed is because the upper management either doesn’t reply at all or takes too long to do so. Poor responses or conveyance of contract and permit details can introduce dangerous variables into the process. No matter how hard the management may try to hide this fact during the inspection phase, a lack of communication can be clearly identified long after the project is completed.

Pipeline construction crews should develop a robust communication plan and create a strategy for the project in order to keep things on track.

Soil Segregation & Restoration Plans Should Be A Priority

The ever-increasing environmental concerns in the world mean that pipeline crews must adopt only those processes that don’t have such a major impact on the environment. For example, micro trenching has a minimal impact on the environment, and its effects can be all but eliminated within 6-9 months.

Not only does this help improve goodwill for the construction company, soil segregation and restoration plans can also help improve worker and equipment safety.

Water Infiltration Within Conventional Bore Excavations

A pre-construction evaluation of bore crossings can go a long way in helping utility service providers understand the soil they’ll be working with, the equipment to use, the experience level of staff, and most importantly, the dangers that the process may pose.

Apart from safety, the process can also help improve water management and avoid violations (and hence, fines).

Other Important Considerations

The utility service industry is just as vast as any other, so there are many other considerations to keep in mind. Some of the more important ones are:

  • Erosion control devices should be on hand throughout the process. This helps prevent runoffs and complaints from the public.
  • Crews should try not to work beyond permitted work hours
  • The management should maintain a contingency plan for a change in the normal workflow
  • The importance of monitoring drilling fluid additives and gas discharges should NEVER be ignored
  • Always monitor controlled areas for any foreign objects

The above points are just a small sampling of what inspectors monitor and what is expected from an expert pipeline construction crew. If you would like to ensure maximum compliance, employee and environment safety, and mitigate the risk of fines and delays, get in touch with experts at Americom today. We would love to help you get your project across the finish line!