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2016
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Sewer construction: Running main sewer line
Why is sewer construction important?
1) Prevent disease-causing bacteria from entering drinking water and food supply. 2) Sewer effuent can be used to estimate population.
Excavator lowers trench box Excavator lowers trench box
Trench box is set into place
This hole will require 2 trench boxes stacked on top of each other
Excavator lowers the trench boxes using a chain
Trench boxes are necessary to protect men working down in the hole. The boxes prevent dirt from collapsing in on the men.
Dirt will cave in very quickly, and the weight of dirt can trap men very easily, causing fractures and death.
Trench boxes are required by code to protect workers.

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How to build sewer
This illusation shows the sequence of laying a section of pipe, then digging new trench, moving trenchboxes.
A second excavator and bulldozer refill trench while a roller with knobby front roller compacts soil.
Laser transit level for sewer construction
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Laser transit level for sewer construction
Sewer construction must follow straight line and maintain correct elevation.
Laser transit level is used during sewer construction

New manhole sits in front of transit. Manholes are made from precast contrete and are located at sewer pipe junctions.
Manholes allow cleaning and inspection of sewer lines.

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Sewer construction
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Photo shows optical level also called a transit.

Equipment includes bulldozer for making final grade, roller to compact backfill dirt as hole is refilled, smaller excavator used to backfill hole, and finally the big excavator to dig hole, move trenchboxes, lower pipe, and sandy fill, and push sections of pipe together.
Front loader not shown, moves piles of dirt, piles of sandy fill, and assists bulldozer.


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Sewer construction
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Several pieces of equipment are used to build sewer

1 roller to compact soil
1 small excavator to backfill hole
1 bulldozer to backfill hole amd level grade
1 front loader (not shown) to move materials
1 big excavator to dig hole, position and move the trench boxes, bring fine grain sandy silt  down into the hole so pipe sits on smooth surface, lower the sections of pipe, push the sections of pipe together, pour more fine grain silt around pipe.
Large excavator has 2 different size buckets, 1 for the larger excavation and 1 for working in the small channel at the bottom where pipe lays.
Transit or level plus pole to check level.
Strap to connect to, and move sections of pipe.
Grease that is applied to pipe so sections slide together.

4-5 men are needed to build this sewer line
2 men down inside the trench box help set the pipe and make sure it is level
And they use shovels and compactor to smooth and compress the sandy silt  that sits below and around the new sewer pipe
1 large excavator operator who works closely with the men down inside the trench box
1 man to connect the pipe and prepare the pipe as it is lowered into the hole
1 or 2 men to operate the backfill equipment, the roller, bulldozer, and small excavator
Sewer construction
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1 section of pipe has just been finished at the trenchbox

1 workman remains in hole using compactor to tighten the concrete  fill used around the pipe.
Other trenchman is walking to get cold water
Temperature on this day is near 100

Big excavator is digging out more trench in preparation for dragging the trenchbox further down.
As each section of pipe is finished, more trench is dug, the box is moved further down, and the backfill men fill up more of the finished trench.
The big excavator operator is highly skilled.
He cuts the trench very tight so there is little space between trenchbox and side wall of dirt.
The dirt at top of trench is cut wider so there is no chance of cave in causing dirt to fall in on top of men working in trench.

One man is using the roller to compact backfilled soil, indicating that sewer pipe has already been laid under this section of ground


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Sewer construction
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Here is close-up view of big excavator digging more trench using the large bucket
Both workman are out of hole now

The workman who helps with the pipe is visible further down
Hand-controlled soil compactor visible and sitting on top of fine silt that surrounds pipe
sewer construction roller Sewer construction roller
Roller is used to compress loose backfill soil over top of newly installed sewer line

Compacting the backfill is important so there is no ground settling that might disrupt the newly laid sewer line and to ensure that road construction and other development can take place immediately.
Sewer construction
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Another image
Several things are happening in this photo

The big excavator has finished digging more trench, and has exchanged buckets and now using the smaller bucket to pull the trenchbox further along the trench
The small excavator is beginning to backfill more trench using the dirt dug out earlier by the big excavator
The 2 men who work down inside the trenchbox are getting ready to move the ladder and go back into the hole as soon as the trenchbox is moved
 
Sewer construction
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The big excavator has finished moving the trenchbox
It is now lowering sandy silt down into the trench so the pipe has a smooth surface to rest on.
Without sandy silt, there would be no way to make the trench smooth enough using the heavy equipment needed to lay sewer

The top layer of soil is dark black clay.
Soil below the clay is red silt washed in over eons from the Brazos River

The pile of sandy silt  is visible behind and to the right of the big excavator.
This material is not native to the location, and must be brought in for the project

The small excavator continues to backfill the trench
Sewer construction
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Men have moved down to the trenchbox
They have moved a leveling stick into the hole (seen leaning against right side ofr the trenchbox)

Big excavator continues using small bucket to pour sandy silt  into bottom of hole
Sandy silt  pile is seen behind and to the right of big excavator

The pipe man in background is ready with the next section of pipe
He has wrapped a strap around center of the pipe, and is waiting for the excavator to move the pipe when needed.
silt backfill for sewer construction
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Fine powdered silt backfill for sewer construction
This material is filled in around pipe... along bottom of trench befoire pipe is laid.
After pipe is laid, the silt is filled in around the sides and over top of pipe.
It is also used under each of the manhole bases.
Men use a compactor or vibrating compactor to compress the material into a dense solid soil

silt backfill for sewer construction
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how to build sewer
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Tool used down in the hole for measuring correct location of pipe
how to build a sewer
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Small excavator bucket.
Used to lower backfill the surrounds serwer pipe
Used for moving trench boxes
Sewer construction
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Big excavator is moving the next section of pipe into position
Big excavator has dropped the small bucket over on right side where the large bucket can be seen

The pipe man is walking forward
He will not get near or under the pipe as long as it is in the air.

The bulldozer is knocking down the loose soil from sides of ditch, preparing to use the roller to compress soil

Unseen behind the bulldozer are the men in trenchbos who are leveling and compressing the sandy silt .
Sewer construction
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Preparing to install section of pipe
The pipe has 2 ends... the straight end and the bell end.
Before the pipe is lowered into hole, the pipe man will clean ends of pipe and apply grease to non-bell end of pipe
Sewer construction
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Pipe lowered into hole on end of strap

The men down inside the trenchbox will position pipe and remove strap
Sewer construction
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Another image
Men in trenchbox position pipe and disconnect strap

Excavator brings strap out of hole
Pipe man will remove strap.

Excavator will return to the hole and push sections of pipe together
Sewer construction
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Excavator pushing sections of pipe together
Bulldozer obscures activity
At this point, I stopped taking photos and left the men to their work
They laid 6-8+ more sections of pipe that day
Sewer construction
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Image shows bell end of pipe
At end of day the pipe man stores the strap and gloves inside the pipe

Note the rubber gasket inside bell end of pipe
Both ends of each piece of pipe must be cleaned before pipes are assembled
Grease is added to non-bell end of next section of pipe before being pushed into the bell end
The rubber gasket seals pipe
Sewer construction end of first day
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Next day shows the amount of work finished day before
how to build a sewer
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Close up view of sewer line at end of day 2
The sewer line is capped
These photos taken July 3rd 2015 on a Saturday when the crew was not working

Notice trenchbox is carefully positioned above the deepest part of trench where pipe lays.
Notice sandy silt  is compacted over and around the pipe... filling entire bottom of trench
Notice sandy fill does not rise to the same level as bottom of trenchbox... this means the trenchbox can be moved without disturbing the compacted fill

Obviously, the men doing this work are experienced at the job
The big excavator operator has cut a perfect hole to fit the trenchbox on each side, and to place it above the deepest part of trench where pipe is laid

Notice also how sturdy the steel trenchbox is
The large bucket is resting on top of the trenchbox
sewer manhole
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Precast manholes
This precast will be used when finished sewer line is connected to the main line

You can see long metal straps, that look like very long 'hose' clamps, inside the precast
These long metal straps arrive with precast and are used to tighten rubber gasket around sewer pipe
sewer manhole
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Rubber gasket on precast
Large 'hose' clamps are used to tighten gasket around pipe... same as used to connect radiator hose to radiator, except longer
build sewer Connecting new sewer to exisitng sewer line
Safety first
Trench box protects workers down inside hole
Trench box is open on the ends
When box is put at end of trench, then metal plates or slats must be in place to prevent end of trench from collapsing on workers

See more:
Sewer construction: sewer line into neighborhood

  
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☑ White for water lines
☑ Yellow for gas lines

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