The Village of Baldwin, Ill., recently made the decision to replace a failing 40-year-old clay tile sewer main with a new 10-inch gravity sewer.

Since the new sewer main had to be installed in a high-traffic area, parallel to a main village street and under a state highway and a set of railroad tracks, Rhutasel and Associates Inc., of Freeburg, Ill., the village’s consulting engineers, chose directional drilling as the method of installing pipe for the new sewer. In order to minimize disturbance to the public and keep costs down, directional drilling was the only realistic option. For the new sewer, 600 feet of CertainTeed Certa-Lok C-900/RJ restrained-joint PVC pipe was used, which the engineers chose for its strong performance in directional drilling applications.

“We specified the Certa-Lok C-900/RJ restrained-joint PVC pipe mainly for its rigidity and ability to withstand stretching that may occur from the pulling force of the directional drilling rig,” says Travis Liefer, staff engineer for Rhutasel and Associates, a multi-disciplinary consulting engineering and land surveying professional services firm. “We needed a product that would be able to resist any minor deflections that may be in the actual bore itself.”

Certa-Lok C900/RJ is a PVC product suitable for both water and wastewater applications. Its joining system, which utilizes a high-strength spline to connect pipe lengths, holds the pipe together during installation and pressurization, while elastomeric O-rings provide a pressure seal.

The Village of Baldwin hired contractor Korte-Luitjohan Contractors Inc., of Highland, Ill., to install the gravity sewer main and build a new sewage lift station. Korte & Luitjohan Contractors Inc., established in 1958, is a family owned, full-service general contractor serving central and southern Illinois. The contractor used a Vermeer directional drill and a DCI Digitrak F2 Drill-Head Locator with target steering crew to make a 600-foot bore. The bore began at a depth of 14 feet and ended at a depth of 17 feet, meeting grade requirements all the way. The installation took 8 days, and the installed pipe then was camera-tested for sags and deflections, and passed with flying colors.

Thanks to the use of directional drilling, traffic suffered only minor, short-term disruption, and there was no disruption to the railroad, Illinois Highway 154 or businesses in the area. In addition, grading, seeding and roadway repairs were minimized by avoiding open trench installation.