Our successful Dewatering Project has several stages. In the construction industry, the expression that “a building is only as good as its foundation” carries a great deal of validity. Many factors are taken into consideration when a building foundation is laid, and one of the most important procedures deals with the effective control of the ground water prior to its placement. This process is known as ‘Dewatering’ in the construction industry.
The process of Dewatering proposed foundation excavation is not a simple task. A Dewatering Contractor or Drilling Contractor offering dewatering services, must understand a well-directed process of detailed analysis, planning, and implementation must be followed in order to make project successful. If any potential hazards, such as misinterpretation of the subsurface soils is allowed to impede the process, severe problems can occur during construction, translating into significant cost overruns and delays. Therefore, it becomes imperative that an organization takes responsibility for dewatering by executing a high level of expertise and skilled personnel to troubleshoot all potential hazards in the effort to keep a project safe, on the schedule and within the budget. The lack of professionalism and competency of a Dewatering Contractor, or Drilling Contractor offering dewatering services, often leads to project cost overruns and delays.
Often the Dewatering/Drilling Contractor becomes overly eager to obtain a contract for a project. In an effort to win the bid, a less wise contractor will frequently set project expectations at a very high level and make a variety of promises of the results to be achieved, and work to be accomplished, without taking into consideration all of the possible factors and outcomes that can take place at an excavation site requiring dewatering. Given the complex nature of soil and ground water, it is always prudent to conduct as much research and analysis as possible to avoid unforeseen challenges that often takes place. Less prudent contractors who do not conduct or insist on this type of upfront analysis are therefore unable to set an appropriate level of expectations with a project owner before the installation begins.
Limited adherence to safety standards:
When a less-competent Dewatering/Drilling Contractor reduces operating costs to their bare minimum, it leaves little room for the additional expense of safety training for the personnel who are involved in a project. Without a strict adherence to safety standards, the opportunity for higher costs and possible injury litigation becomes increasingly possible. Due to the complexities of the soil characteristics and ground water, being a successful Dewatering/ Drilling Contractor requires a level of professionalism unmatched in any other specialty trade. Seven key phases can be identified in every successful Dewatering Project.
Before a Dewatering Project can begin, there are a great number of unknown factors that must be determined, such as a detailed description of the subsurface soils, the permeability of the soil to be dewatered, the water table elevation, as well as the limits of the proposed excavation (width, length, and depth) just to name a few. All of these factors must be determined in a detailed investigation conducted prior to the start of any construction work. A competent Dewatering/ Drilling Contractor will investigate as many facets of a project prior to the work beginning, backed up by very accurate data that can create a high level of confidence for the client. Approaching a dewatering problem with this level of detail is the best way to achieve project success.
Some of the procedures that are used in the investigation phase include multiple test bores of the site, lithological logging, gathering of soil samples, conducting sieve analysis of the soil, possibly the design and execution of pump testing to determine the physical parameters of the soil and ground water beneath the site. During this investigation, it is helpful if the contractor can take advantage of any prior dewatering experiences. This includes using the data collected from similar projects with comparable soils to enhance the overall plan. By performing the investigation in this manner, the contractor is able to provide the client with the highest level of confidence that their desired results can be achieved. A design and modeling phase may include both a technical evaluation and a budgetary analysis. In the technical analysis, the results from the investigation phase are used to create the “site model.”