HDD Helps Install Water Main Across Texas Creek

By Christine Kirby

In 2005, the West Harris County Regional Water Authority (WHCRWA) began constructing a water transmission system to prepare the far western Houston area for mandated conversion from groundwater to surface water. One of the projects in this system, known as Contract 34, involved the installation of approximately 18,700 lf of 30- and 24-in. potable water lines from north of Cypress North Houston Road to Harris County MUD 371/374 Water Plant.

In January 2014, WHCRWA hired Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc. (LAN), as the engineer-of-record to implement Contract 34 successfully. Fused Industries (previously known as Meiners Construction Inc.) served as the general contractor. For approximately 2,160 lf, the proposed water main crossed Cypress Creek and a surrounding area of protected wetlands. To comply with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requirements, the project team designed the crossing to be installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD). Fused Industries subcontracted TCH Directional Drilling, which specializes in HDD.

“The size of the identified wetlands area exceeded the typical length for conventional trenchless installation methods such as augering and microtunneling, which would have required multiple intermediate pits within a crossing of this length,” said Shelley Serres, P.E, LAN senior associate and senior project manager.

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