HDD operations should only be performed by trained and experienced contractors. Nonetheless, such operations may encounter various difficulties, including:

  • Loss of drilling fluid or loss of circulation (flow)
  • Obstructions (cobbles, debris, foundations, ...)
  • Hydrolock
  • Line and Grade Problems
  • Bore hole collapse
  • Failure of drill rods or downhole tooling
  • Surface collapse or heaving
  • Inadvertent drilling fluid returns (surface, waterways, ...)
  • Striking or damaging existing utility
  • Product pipe failure or damage
  • Product pipe stuck in bore hole.

Prevention practices for contingency plans and methods for mitigating such problems are available in industry guidelines; e.g., Horizontal Directional Drilling -- Good Practices Guidelines (3rd Edition, 2008, HDD Consortium) and Guideline - Planning Horizontal Directional Drilling for Pipeline Construction (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, CAPP Publication 2004-0022, September 2004).

Following installation of the pipe, it is necessary to confirm the viability of the new facility, as well as to provide a permanent record of the actual placement location. The following steps should be performed:

  • Inspection
  • Pipe Testing
  • Site Cleanup
  • Certified Record ("As-Built") Drawings

ASTM International F1962 (Standard Guide for Use of Maxi-Horizontal Directional Drilling for Placement of Polyethylene Pipe or Conduit Under Obstacles, Including River Crossings) and PPI TR-46, (Guidelines for Use of Mini-Horizontal Directional Drilling for Placement of High Density Polyethylene Pipe) provide appropriate practices at the completion of the pipe installation.