Typically, homeowners schedule yearly maintenance for their storm gutters and chimneys, but may hesitate to schedule sewer and drain inspections. In the past, comprehensive sewer repair meant that homeowners could look forward to, at the very minimum, several weeks to months of large-scale digging on their properties. The idea that plumbing and sewer repairs stemming from aging pipes or tree root intrusion is an attractive one, but was long considered impossible.
Although “trenchless plumbing repair,” a process that keeps digging to a minimum and can help clear blocked sewer pipes and gas lines, has an option for both commercial and residential areas for almost 15 years, recent studies showed that a majority of American homeowners remained unaware of low-impact, “no-dig” plumbing and sewer repair options.
The trenchless sewer repair method has been used recently in two major metropolitan areas in different parts of the world where pedestrian and vehicular traffic are extremely heavy. In both cities, the subterranean infrastructure is both labyrinthine and aging. Older steel pipes are corroding along the sides in some places due to wear and tear on the coating, and still-older cast iron pipes have the potential to be well over 100 years old.
Complicating the repair process is the fact that, much like some residential properties, both major cities have gas and water lines in close proximity to their sewer systems. However, industry publications indicate that over 10,000 feet of trenchless sewer repair has been accomplished — with minimal public disruption — over the last several years, even in colder temperatures.
Although no-dig sewer repair works well for metal and PVC pipes, there are a few larger cities in the United States that have sections of sewer made from brick. As the industry establishes itself with commercial and residential accounts, the process of trenchless plumbing repair becomes standardized and more easily accomplished. As property owners become more aware of no-dig repair and rehabilitation options, the industry is expected to continue to grow.