Tracto grundoram supports sewer replacement at coastal town

Nov 24, 2023

Budleigh Salterton is a popular and picturesque seaside town situated within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Located at the start of the stunning Jurassic Coast; a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognised for its outstanding rocks, fossils and land forms; it is a year-round tourist destination.

The regional water company recently took preventative action to replace a worn stormwater/sewer pipe that has serviced the whole of the town for over 100 years. A Goliath GRUNDORAM from TRACTO played a key role in the process of installing new 500mm PE pipe to replace the former aged clay pipe. Whilst pipe renewals can often be a straightforward job, this was anything but due to the ground conditions. The underground drill, some 530m in length, included a section under the wash to the other side of the estuary and required a drilling depth of 50m at 18°.

Specialist trenchless contractor, GMAC Utilities, was awarded the job with a brief of keeping the existing pipe in place whilst installing the new PE pipe, to ensure continuity of service for local homeowners and businesses. However, the ground make-up, which included cobbles and gravels to a depth of 17m where the sandstone rock head started, prohibited the use of a standard rock drill due to the risk of a ground collapse and inability to achieve borehole stability through the challenging materials. The job required a specialist piece of pipe ramming equipment and the company turned to leading manufacturer TRACTO to hire the Goliath GRUNDORAM to assist with the installation.

A 1m diameter steel casing in 12m lengths had to welded together to achieve the 60m distance and to ensure the most accurate, efficient job, Arnie Bailey, a freelance ramming expert, was brought in to operate the rammer. He worked in partnership with the Site Manager from GMAC and their team of operators and welders to prepare the equipment prior to the ram.

Arnie, who previously worked for TRACTO UK for over 2 decades, now consults on Geo thermal drilling projects nationwide and is a big fan of TRACTO technology; “The Goliath is a powerful hammer capable of installing 100m of 1m diameter pipe. Using this technology saves a huge amount of time over auger boring, which would have been an alternative solution. Using the TRACTO rammer took just 3 weeks, whilst an auger would have required 9 or 10 weeks. This time saving period of 6 or so weeks translated into a huge financial saving for the local council.” Thanks to Arnie and his experience of operating the rammer, the job was a huge success; “The accuracy of the GRUNDORAM was second to none; in fact, it was 99% accurate with the rig going in at 18°. This level of precision is vital and I always know if we use the TRACTO product it will deliver. The team on site is very happy with the solution. Chris Brodie, Gmac Utilities Ltd Business Development Manager, agreed; “The Goliath Grundoram performed beyond expectations - easily installing the casing in time and to budget. We were also pleased with the highly efficient service from TRACTO UK getting the equipment to site, as well as great product support from their representatives who visited site before and during the ram.”

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