We often use the
"Mole" when we provide new water service to a rural customer.
If the water main is on opposite side of the road from the customer, we
use the "Mole" to pierce under the blacktop at a minimum depth
of 4 1/2 feet for roughly 75 feet.
We could open-cut
the two lane blacktop, but the costs are much greater than using the "Mole".
By using the "Mole", we only have to dig two small holes. With
open cutting, we would have to cut a 1-foot- to 2 foot wide trench, 5
feet deep all the way across the road. With the line in, we have to haul
in sand, backfill, and base rock, and often have to come back and pave
The material costs vary from job to job, but the biggest cost is time.
With the "Mole", we can do the job faster and with less intrusion
to the surface ground. Open cutting often takes days, and those often
are not consecutive days, so rescheduling of men and machines adds to
The second type of installation in which we use the "Mole" rather
than open-cut is in repairs. In any given year, we replace many water
lines. For example, we were working in a location where the existing main
was in an alleyway behind the homes. We relocated the new main to the
street and in front of the homes. In this case, we took the responsibility
of running the service lines from the main to the meter and from the meter
to the homes themselves. We bored 6 feet deep under retaining walls, with
average run lengths of 80 feet, to get to the new water main to the house.
Once the "Mole" bored through, we attached a cable on the end
of it and then reversed the "Mole" back to the launch hole.
Then, we used the cable with a compression sleeve that hooks on to the
end of the copper and pulled the copper through the hole. We could have
used a small excavator and dug up the front yards, all the way up to the
house. But then, we would have been responsible for replacing their sidewalks
and lawns, making sure everything grew back, with the same trees, and
same flowers. If we had open-cut, it would have been significantly more
expensive with the replacement of landscapes and sidewalks.