Cross Bore Inspections:
What They Are & Why They Are Critical

A cross bore is an accidental intersection of an existing underground utility line by a second pipeline installed through trenchless technology. The presence of an undetected cross bore can result in backups in the utility line and compromise the structural integrity of the sewer pipes and the overall sewer system.If a sewer inspection professional is unaware of the intersecting sewer lines & utility lines and tries to drill across the blockages, disaster can ensue. Taking effective measures to prevent the formation of cross bores can reduce the risk of injury and property damage.Utilizing cross bore inspection programs & cross bore inspection services are the best way to reduce cross bore risk, especially for municipalities.

Lateral Inspection & Mapping Image

Cross Bore Inspection – What is it?
Cross bore inspection is the act of performing a professional check on a sewer lateral before and after installing a utility line. It utilizes video pipe inspection (cctv) to check underground sewer, water, and lateral lines for cross bores and structural damages. The VPI can be used alongside other technologies like automated sewer crawlers to provide a detailed view of an underground pipe before construction begins. The purpose of video pipe inspection is to:

• Determine the size and material of the construction
• Locate service laterals
• Find existing natural gas lines
• Check the structural condition
• Identify obstructions like roots and debris that need a clean out
• Locate structural defects and damages

Why is Cross Bore Inspection Important?
Cross bore mitigation
Cross bores are dangerous and often create a significant concern over public safety. Inspections can help prevent the intersection of utility lines which can cause severe explosions or even death. Video pipe inspection is a great tool to help detect and minimize the impact of cross bores on the environment and humanity.

New construction
New cross bores can be created by new construction. Cross bore inspection is essential for gas utility professionals and construction contractors during the construction of new buildings. Many new construction projects usually require inspection before and after construction to ensure appropriate trenchless installation. Pre-construction examination includes mapping the underground sewer laterals at a proposed installation site.

Determining the location of utility pipes is a great way to mitigate the potential hazards of cross bores during the installation of gas lines or pipes. On the other hand, post-construction inspection is done to ensure no damages were created to sewers and laterals during construction.

Sewer and water inspections
When a cross bore exists in a sewer or water drain, it presents a dangerous situation. Legacy cross bores may still exist that need to be identified and resolved wherever possible. Water and sewer inspection helps discover a faulty sewer lateral or a blockage in an underground pipe. Professionals often use video pipe inspection services to locate the actual damage in the sewer or water lines, which may include collapses, lateral traps, cross bores, and bellies. This will eliminate project delays and avoid budget overruns.

Cross bores can result in catastrophic events if not well-handled. To mitigate the impact of this problem, the trenchless technology industry, building contractors, and utility managers should work together to ensure appropriate cross bore prevention by conducting cross bore inspections to curb any potential disaster that may occur during or after construction.