Drilling 1 kilometer under a British golf course

In October 2022, Brownline surveyed a drill job under a golf course in the United Kingdom. Installing a water main in Fleet required crossing under the fairways of North Hants Golf Club.

12 km water main

In Fleet, a new water main totaling nearly 12 km / 7.5 mi is being installed. This project will improve the reliability of the water supply, which is needed to meet the predicted increase in demand in the next few years. Part of this project involved drilling one kilometer under the golf course. HDD contractor Peter McCormack & Sons Ltd. was commissioned by Clancy working on behalf of South East Water to design and install the crossing.

The crossing was designed with a sizeable horizontal curvature at 58° on the first half of the drill path. The remaining length was drilled straight. To keep the pilot bore on the planned track, Brownline’s Drillguide Gyro Steering Tool was used to take positional measurements while drilling.

Minimal disruption

Using the GST, the drill can be monitored without needing surface access along the drill trajectory. This means that disruption to the golf course was kept to a minimum.

In order to minimize the ecological footprint of the project and to avoid any fluid leaking to the surface, pressure control was crucial during this crossing. Using mud pressure sensors in the GST, the driller was able to keep an eye on live downhole pressure measurements as the drilling progressed. Monitoring these pressure measurements and adjusting the fluids accordingly helped prevent any inadvertent returns. Blowouts on one of the fairways or greens would have been a nightmare for the golf course.

Extra check

On the final stretch, we used our GPS track add-on for an additional check of the drill head’s position. With its position confirmed, the punch-out was guaranteed to be exactly where it was planned: near the fairway of the southernmost hole of the golf course.

By bringing in Brownline’s expertise, the water main was installed in a safe, accurate, and minimally disruptive way.

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