Category Archives: Engineering

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Planning and Civil Engineering Projects In the Covid Era

Planning and Civil Engineering Projects In the Covid Era

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The COVID era has changed the way people live their lives. From mass quarantines to social distancing and mask-wearing, the pandemic maintains its stranglehold on normality. And while much above-ground has changed, humans still need one aspect to stay strong: underground infrastructure. Every person still relies on this infrastructure for water, power, sewer, and more. Without it, the world would plunge into uncertainty never before seen on such a mass scale. For municipalities and urban areas to thrive, the planning of civil engineering projects for underground infrastructure becomes even more integral—something that planners can’t ignore.

How Civil Engineering Firms Are Handling the COVID Pandemic

Before diving into the importance of planning and civil engineering projects in the COVID era, governments and the public should understand how these firms are handling COVID. To some degree, many firms have adopted hybrid workplaces. These workplaces split their staff so about half work from home and half work onsite during a given period. After a set amount of time, these employees switch places. Not only does this adhere to social distancing guidelines, but it also allows civil engineering companies to stay on task during the pandemic.

Why You Should Still Move Ahead With Civil Engineering Projects

Many people don’t understand the magnitude of underground infrastructure and the impact it has on daily activities. Without new construction or proper maintenance of these utilities, quality of life and staying true to COVID regulations could be an arduous or almost impossible task. Therefore, leaders and politicians should remain on schedule to maintain underground utilities and services such as:

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Power
  • CCTV lines

And these are only just a handful of the list of actual projects that need constant attention, maintenance, and expansion. COVID may cause an interruption in above-ground services, but these can’t be ignored.

Civil Engineering Projects Integral to Weathering the COVID-Era Storm

Underground civil engineering projects are more than just digging a hole and replacing pipes. Reputable companies have skilled, experienced employees, years of knowledge, and relevant project management to keep the infrastructure running smoothly.

The reason to hire such a company is twofold: to meet the needs of an expanding population/city limits and to repair outdated infrastructure. In some cities and towns, pipes can be decades old, meaning that a full-on catastrophe is only a matter of time. That’s what makes maintenance and new projects so crucial. With new technology and equipment, these projects take only a fraction of the time compared to old-school methods. This includes new advancements such as:

  • Pipe bursting
  • Pipe reaming
  • Laser-guided horizontal boring
  • Directional drilling
  • And more

With so many options, you can fit your timeline and budgetary constraints while providing the infrastructure needed to make people’s lives easier during a global pandemic.

Although planning and civil engineering projects in the COVID era require special attention to detail, they’re still as feasible as they were in the pre-COVID age. By hiring a reputable contractor and creating and adhering to a plan, municipalities can overcome COVID with success and future plans in case history should repeat itself. Even during a global pandemic, that’s something to take solace in.

EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing is an underground civil engineering contractor serving the entire Bay Area for multiple decades.  Rely on our experience and advanced equipment to get your project done on time and within budget.  Let’s discuss any upcoming project together, begin by contacting us for a meeting today.


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Underground Design and Construction Requires Proper Planning

Underground Design and Construction Requires Proper Planning

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Urban development is more than just commercial and residential zoning. It requires careful planning of several aspects that aren’t visible to politicians or the businesses or residents living there. Notably, this pertains to underground infrastructure and construction. Without proper planning of this facet, the area won’t get the utilities and services it requires. So to sustain urban development and build a better area for the present and future, here are some vital components of underground design and building.


How Underground Construction Affects Urban Planning


Urban development is a process where a city or municipality plans land use through detailed plans that apply to land use, zoning, and other considerations. Until relatively recently, this didn’t always concern underground design and construction, especially for areas that didn’t require underground transit.

But times have changed with respect to underground utilities and infrastructure. More governments want to place wires and pipes for gas, electricity, and the internet underground for numerous reasons. Not only does it prevent potential damage from weather or man-made disasters, but it also eliminates some of the eyesores associated with above-ground utilities.

As a result, city planners, project managers, underground construction companies, and utility companies must all have an in-depth knowledge of subsurface design and construction.

Geological Excavation


Geological excavation is one of the most vital parts of urban planning, yet this requires more than surveying for gas and electrical lines. In some municipalities, this may necessitate an excavation for Native American or American historical artifacts, as well as a search for any valuable deposits or minerals.

Furthermore, geological excavation must be done correctly to ensure the sturdiness and integrity of the ground after the excavation is complete. This is an arduous and time-consuming process. But without this step, urban development can fall behind schedule or go over budget.


Underground Assessment

Going hand-in-hand with geological excavation is an underground assessment. This assessment should determine the potential for underground utilities and construction in a specific area. By conducting this assessment, blueprints and plans are far easier to draft, resulting in a more straightforward approach to underground construction.

In addition, this underground assessment will factor into where utilities are placed based on the soil type. For example, clay, sand, and silt are not ideal for building, as frost or drainage issues can plague certain utilities long after construction.


Choosing the Right Underground Design and Construction Company


Whether urban development requires a company to assess, excavate, design, or build underground systems, they should always go with a reputable business. Companies that fit the mold often have the same characteristics, including:
The right equipment for the task, including underground technology that’s minimally invasive to the surface.
Experience in underground design and construction, as well as urban development
Knowledgeable staff from managers to laborers

While urban development certainly has potential pitfalls and other issues, this shouldn’t act as a deterrent for growing cities and municipalities. With EPS Engineering, a thorough development proposal, and contingency plans, urban development can turn a blighted area under budget and on time.

For multiple decades now, EPS Engineering has partnered with local municipalities on some of the most complex underground projects. Our in-depth experiences combined with an excellent team and the largest fleet of advanced equipment, allows us to deliver successful project in time and within budget every time. Give us a call and let’s discuss your next project.


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Domestic Drinking Water and City Infrastructure

Domestic Drinking Water and City Infrastructure

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Clean water is essential for a high quality of life throughout the world. In westernized nations, the dependence on domestic water lines and treatment plants to deliver this water shouldn’t be understated. That’s why maintenance on these systems are so important. Without a trusted civil engineering firm providing top-notch service, clean water can become a concern for municipalities. To improve city infrastructure and domestic drinking water capabilities, local governments shouldn’t opt for second-best or cost-cutting measures.

A Quick History of Clean Drinking Water

Drinking water comes from a variety of sources. While some areas rely on lakes, rivers, or reservoirs, others obtain their water from underground aquifers. However, it wasn’t until 1974 that the U.S. government established the Safe Drinking Water Act. This piece of legislation appointed the EPA as an authority over all water purification processes and set the standard of water cleanliness on a national scale.

The Importance of Clean Drinking Water

Clean drinking water is more than just a quick drink out of the faucet. It’s an important facet of everyday life. Everything from cooking to showering requires clean water to prevent the incidence of waterborne illnesses. And although the United States has one of the world’s cleanest water supplies, obstacles still remain to maintain this privilege to the general public.

Water Line Maintenance Concerns in the United States

Maintaining clean water is far more involved than many people realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control, many water pipes and systems—even in urbanized areas—are more than 100 years old. As a result, these systems are more susceptible to cracked or burst pipes and water main breaks that can result in boil orders or contaminated water.

Moreover, the American Water Works Association estimates that repairing existing systems and expanding drinking water systems to reach a sprawling suburban migration will cost up to $1 trillion over the next 25 years.

Using a Trusted Civil Engineering Company to Maintain Domestic Water Lines

As more and more systems require maintenance, municipalities must act quickly to keep their clean water pipes from falling into disrepair. Yet not just any company is up to the task. As a result, local governments must choose a trusted civil engineering company to maintain domestic water lines.

EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing has years of experience in the industry, an expert staff to get the job done, and a proven track record for water line maintenance, installation, and repair. In addition, we have the proper equipment. This includes separate equipment for working on drinking water lines as opposed to sewer lines to limit the chance of contamination and waterborne illnesses.

Clean drinking water isn’t just a benefit of citizens; it’s something that should be a human right. But even in countries such as the U.S., outdated infrastructure and less experienced companies put this right at risk. Therefore, a reputable civil engineering company is the only true solution to the problems associated with maintenance, installation, and repair of water lines. It may cost a bit more, but the results will speak for themselves. If you’d like to discuss a Bay Area underground construction or civil engineering project with our team, give us a call and we’ll be happy to assist.  No project is too large or too small for our experienced team to handle, we’ll be happy to share our large portfolio of complete project over the past two decades with you


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Municipal Underground Sewer Rehabilitation

Municipal Underground Sewer Rehabilitation

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Talk about trenchless technology and sewer rehabilitation that involves municipalities and entire

neighborhoods. Just like plumbing at home, lines and pipes underground take a beating so the cities and local counties are always involved in rehabilitating these underground lines.  EPS Inc. is proud to be a reliable partner for the Bay Area municipalities when they need an equipped and experienced underground construction contractor.

Many underground sewers throughout the country are aged and outdated, relying on old technology such as clay and cast-iron pipes. As a result, the threat of sewers backing up and underground infrastructure failing is an alarming reality. Fortunately, municipalities are rising up to the challenge of aging infrastructure by undergoing mass sewer rehabilitation.

With the added benefit of trenchless technology, the process is becoming far less invasive, yet the results are the same: a fully functioning sewer system with a minimal chance of catastrophic failure. Here’s a glance at how the process works and what to expect as a result.

Why Underground Sewers Fail

Underground sewer pipes can fail for a number of reasons. But perhaps the most severe problem is due to the corrosive effects of hydrogen sulfide gas. A natural byproduct of human waste, this gas can corrode manholes as well as metal pipes. The gas is also highly flammable, adding another unsavory dimension to sewer rehab.

Rapid population growth in many municipalities has also led to increased levels of this gas, along with excess use on dated sewer systems. Throughout the country, many sewer systems are reaching the end of their useful life—typically in the range of 40 to 50 years. This can lead to a bevy of issues, including pipe displacement or pipe bursts.

One other reason why underground sewer systems fail is due to the material of the pipes. Clay pipes can break and move over time, while cast-iron and other metal pipes corrode due to water seepage and hydrogen sulfide gas. Fortunately, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes can amend this situation. Made from plastic, these pipes are durable, non-corrosive, lightweight, and easier to install.

How Trenchless Technology Is Revolutionizing Sewer Rehabilitation

In years past, sewer rehabilitation was an arduous process. Not only did workers have to dig out and replace pipes manually, but the disruption to traffic and damage to municipal and personal property was vast. Plus, the costs were exorbitant.

Today, trenchless technology makes these problems an aspect of the past. Unlike traditional sewer repair, this technology allows contractors to repair pipes within a matter of hours or days rather than weeks or months.

Making the repair process easier, trenchless technology also comes in a variety of options to suit timeframes and budgetary restrictions. The most common trenchless repairs for municipalities include:

  • Directional boring
  • Pipe bursting
  • Epoxy and resin (manhole-to-manhole lining)
  • Lateral pipe lining
  • Sectional point repairs

With several options, municipalities can choose the perfect option for their sewer rehabilitation needs. 

Sewer rehabilitation isn’t an aspect of municipal utilities that can wait until failure. Much to the contrary, it’s a process that requires a proactive approach from local councils and politicians With EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing on their side, they know they have a hands-on company that relies on its experienced staffed and vast fleet of necessary equipment to get the job done quickly, within budget, and least disruption to the local community.

Call to discuss an upcoming underground construction project in the Bay Area with Nick Bechwati, leading the way in providing innovative civil engineering techniques and technology to accomplish the task at hand no matter how complicated, large or small an underground construction project is.


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Risk Assessment, Performance and Failure of Elements in Underground Infrastructure

Risk Assessment, Performance and Failure of Elements in Underground Infrastructure

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Failures can happen in any construction or underground infrastructure project. Whether the catastrophe is the product of oversight, negligence, or poor planning, the result is a setback that can ruin budgets and blur time constraints.

Fortunately, risk assessment is a vital component of planning that any reputable company doesn’t take lightly. Here’s a look at how these we avoid failure through risk assessment, and why any underground infrastructure project requires timely planning and communication.

Why Do Some Underground Infrastructure Projects Fail?

Most underground infrastructure projects center around the flow of water, whether it’s sewer, water lines, or other piping. However, project planners must consider a number of potential issues in the planning phase of the project. Without this organization and forethought, the result can be disastrous. So why do some projects fail?

  • Cracks in the piping system
  • Corrosion
  • Obstacles to water flow such as tree roots or man-made objects
  • Positional deviation due to incorrect planning, natural disasters, or soil settling
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Leaks

With so many variables, project managers must research and assess every potential failure as a way to avoid them.

When it comes to underground infrastructure engineering, experience matters!  EPS Inc dba Express Plumbing has been providing civil engineering and underground construction services in the Bay Area for over two decades.  We strive for perfection by having all the equipment and most experienced staff on each project we perform.  Our work is evident throughout the Bay Area above and below ground.

How Risk Assessment Prevents Failure in Underground Infrastructure Projects

Risk can never be wholly eliminated. But risk assessment can drastically mitigate any potential hazards. Therefore, every underground infrastructure project must undergo a period of risk assessment.

In particular, the advent of trenchless digging has posed a threat to many infrastructure projects, simply because what lies beneath the surface is relatively unknown. However, pairing a knowledgeable underground contractor with realistic project parameters and subjective judgment can lower the overall risk, while also creating contingency plans in unforeseen circumstances.  Ask our residential, commercial and municipal customers about the hundreds of successful projects EPS has performed throughout the Bay Area.

Following Up on Underground Infrastructure Projects

Building upon risk assessment, following up on the performance of underground infrastructure is tantamount to success and necessary maintenance. The methods of such performance testing vary depending on the type of project. But we conduct routine inspections to ensure everything works correctly.

In addition, governments and contractors work closely together and develop a plan to alert the public about projects and digging hazards. Most states now have phone numbers or websites that allow homeowners to inquire about utilities and pipes before they dig, effectively mitigating the chance for damage to existing infrastructure.

Why You Should Choose a Reputable Underground Contractor in the Bay Area

Although underground infrastructure projects can fail for a variety of reasons, the contractor plays a crucial role in success. Not only should municipalities choose a reputable contractor, but it should also search for companies that have dozens—if not hundreds—of projects to its credit. Furthermore, these contractors should also have the equipment to get the job done and an experienced staff. By combining all of these facets, the chance for underground infrastructure failure is far less, especially in combination with due diligence and risk assessment.

Through risk assessment and regular performance checks, underground infrastructure projects are a durable and dependable part of overall infrastructure. But only when you select the right contractor. With a reliable contractor, the risk of failure becomes an afterthought. The only aspect left is a product that improves the quality of life for citizens and government.

EPS Inc dba Express Plumbing is the go-to underground contractor in the Bay Area because no project is too small, too large, or too complicated for us to handle.  We rely on our fleet of advanced equipment and experienced staff to provide a successful completed project every time.

Have an upcoming project that requires expertise and precision?  Contact us to schedule a meeting with Nick Bechwati to discuss and answer all your questions.


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How Civil Engineering Projects Continue During Covid-19

How Civil Engineering Projects Continue During Covid-19

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Civil engineering is a profession that typically comes with onsite responsibilities. Overseeing a construction project, monitoring its success, and adhering to goals and budgets require constant attention. But with the rise of COVID-19, many civil engineers have been forced to work at home. So how do civil engineering projects continue during COVID-19? Read on to find out.

“We want to begin by thanking all the emergency response teams, the EPS Express Plumbing technicians, plumbers, engineers, and project managers for their continued dedication while serving our Bay Area Community.  EPS Engineering has been serving the Bay Area for multiple decades and you can continue to depend on us during these difficult times as we complete projects and proceed with caution following the recommended guidelines.”

Protection During Onsite Visits

Although many civil engineers have started to telecommute, the job still necessitates visits to various job sites. Whether these engineers have to monitor a construction project or put together an overall assessment of a project, they must eventually venture out of the home office to keep projects running smoothly.

During these onsite journeys, self-care and protection are essential. The wearing of masks to stop the spread of COVID-19, as well as the use of hand sanitizer are integral to the health of our engineers. In addition, adhering to social-distancing protocols and avoiding large groups of people are mandatory. By sticking to these rules, our employees can complete their job without the threat of infection or spread, especially with the high percentage of infected persons who don’t experience any symptoms.

Diverse Teams

Because civil engineers must visit sites routinely, some municipalities have started a rotating schedule of diverse teams. Each team has an expert in a particular field, such as asbestos removal, sewer systems, and other specialties.  Where in the past all may show up at the same time, now the schedule is well thought out and planned accordingly.

On a given day, one team will head out into the field, while others remain home on their virtual workstation. As a result, this process limits exposure to COVID-19 while also allowing our experts to monitor certain projects. The uncertainty of the current pandemic will inhibit teams from their normal work routine. However, it will not hinder the progress that we have on our current projects.  No matter how big or small, above ground or below ground, we always deliver excellence.

Remote-Friendly Technology

Perhaps the most striking aspect of civil engineers completing their jobs during the pandemic is their ability to work from home. Thanks to the advent of collaborative, file-sharing, and video-conferencing technology, many civil engineers can still do certain parts of jobs much in the same way as before.  Nick Bechwati, if you know him well, you know that he is a hands-on leader.  He still has boots on the ground and on-site anytime he gets the opportunity.

By using popular platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, communication is just as easy as it is in the field, and perhaps even more convenient than ever. Instant messaging, on-the-fly video chats, and other types of cooperative software provides access to all important parties, as well as files that are integral to the success of a given project.

Our willingness to adapt, upgrade, and invest in technology, latest modern equipment, and most experienced employees are a few of the reasons we are a successful underground engineering contractor in the Bay Area you can always rely on.

Clear Expectations

Like many other professions, the transition to telecommuting requires clear expectations and guidelines. As such, we have put together plans for workers in the field. With these carefully managed and organized plans, projects can stay on track.

Uncertainty and fear remain part of the COVID-19 world. But with the efforts of civil engineers and builders, others can sustain a quality and comfort of life similar to before the pandemic. That’s an amazing feat, and one that hopefully will continue as the country and the world continues its trek towards normalcy.

Contact us to discuss any civil engineering projects above or underground anywhere in the Bay Area.  We serve the residential, commercial and municipal sector.


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What is Heavy Construction?

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Heavy construction is a subset of the construction industry geared toward larger structures. Because of the amount of engineering and project management that goes into heavy construction, specialized equipment and highly experienced individuals are part of the successful completion of a project. In many cases, these are municipal and government projects. So how should companies and government entities plan for large-scale heavy construction? Read on to find out.

Heavy Construction Planning: The First Step of a Successful Project

Before starting any heavy construction project, planning is essential. This multistep process starts with a project initiation document or PID. This preliminary document estimates the cost of the project (budget), the necessary materials to complete the project, and how many workers are required. Without this document, construction firms cannot conduct a feasibility test of whether the project is profitable or doable.

EPS Inc. has been serving our municipal, commercial and residential clients for multiple decades. Our experience, manpower and equipment availability gives us the ability to be price when planning a heavy construction project. We are the Bay Area heavy construction company of choice for many municipality projects due to our commitment to quality and excellence.

Once the construction company drafts a PID, it moves on to more specific estimates of the resources required, as well as technical portions of the project. Using the PID, a more accurate and specific plan comes together, as well as a strategy to complete the project under these rubrics. Many times, construction software eases this complex step and crunches numbers to provide the information for a proposal or presentation.

Equipment and Manpower for Heavy Construction

Determining the equipment and manpower for a heavy construction project isn’t always easy. Volatility in economic conditions and other situations can cause variability. In this regard, estimates may change.

However, the initial step of project planning can provide a solid estimate for the amount of equipment and manpower. A formulaic approach can help determine this number, as well as past projects. The idea is that a company with more experience in municipal and large-scale construction projects is more apt to provide a concrete idea for these numbers.

In addition, heavy construction firms must make seemingly smaller decisions that have a huge impact on a project. This includes aspects such as:

  • Whether to lease, buy, or use already purchased equipment
  • What subcontractors to hire
  • Whether to hire temporary personnel to meet the demand of the project
  • Where to buy wholesale materials
  • Other logistical considerations

By determining these needs, a heavy construction project can move forward without any hiccups. In this regard, trade magazines and journals are a vital resource to limit the amount of overhead and get the best workers for the job. Experienced firms may already have a team of suppliers and workers assembled to limit the chances for sunk costs.

Beyond these vital aspects, heavy construction companies must also devote a portion of their efforts to contingency plans. Few projects of this scale will proceed without a hitch. Therefore, a contingency or emergency plan can prevent a bleeding of resources and cash flow.

By choosing a company that has the necessary manpower, machinery, and expertise to finish a heavy construction project, governmental organizations and private builders can avoid any headaches during the process. With a well-constructed building delivered on time and under budget, all parties can enjoy the result of planning and project management.

When you rely on our EPS team, you’re in good hands. From manpower to equipment availability and experience. We get the job done! Contact us with any heavy construction project you’re planning, and we’ll be glad to assist you from start to finish.


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How Municipal Projects Continue During COVID-19

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the personal and professional lives of people around the globe, many individuals continue to work on essential jobs. One of the jobs that continue as scheduled deals with municipal sewer and pipe projects. These particular projects are vital during the COVID-19 pandemic as the strain to existing infrastructure increases and more people are forced to stay at home.

Yet despite this heightened demand, workers continue to tackle projects for the convenience and betterment of citizens. Here is how our professionals brave conditions to bring people the sewer and water services they need.

Basic Safety Protocols and Precautions

Although some contractors and builders have deemed their businesses nonessential, municipal projects are an integral service. That’s why many jurisdictions are continuing their projects as scheduled. Even as these water and sewer projects continue, companies, governments, and contractors are putting specific safety protocols and precautions on work.

EPS Engineering considers safety a top priority for both our employees and the community. We follow all guidelines by the CDC and have protocols in place to continue serving our community safely.

On March 25, 2020, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC)—a group of 25 trade associations—released safety guidelines to protect employees and workers as they continued to fix or install sewer and water lines. In addition to masks and other personal protective equipment, the protocols also outline other tips, including:

  • Disinfecting and cleaning surfaces.
  • Work practices to ensure cleanliness and minimize the spread of disease.
  • How to handle potential illnesses on the job site.
  • Social distancing

Using these guidelines, municipal job sites can remain secure and free from the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Constant Assessment of Job Sites

To secure the job site, foremen and supervisors should constantly assess job sites. Not only should this include a thorough daily inspection of the site, but also making sure that workers follow the guidelines laid out by the CISC.

Social distancing should also be enforced throughout the workday, and discussions or disciplinary action handed out to workers who disobey these rules.

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Municipal Projects

Despite some companies continuing their projects and efforts during COVID-19, certain aspects of the business continue to suffer. According to one survey of the Associated General Contractors of America, 28% of companies reported that the government or a local agency had prevented them from bidding on or completing work. In addition, 22% discussed the lack of material because of a supplier cancellation, as well as up to 20% of projects cancelled or delayed for at least 30 days.

The long-term effects on municipal projects may not be recognized until after these stay-at-home directives are lifted. But our technicians, engineers, and plumbers continue to follow strict safety guidelines to ensure that our local community has the services they need.

Although “essential” is a loose definition, our workers and company repairs and builds sewer and water infrastructure and we continue to improve the lives of others during this time of uncertainty.

Our essential services are what continue to make this time less difficult, while also ensuring the integrity of infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

From our entire team at EPS Inc. We are here for our Bay Area community and remind everyone to keep hope alive as we navigate through this pandemic.


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Local Infrastructure and Municipal Underground Projects Continue During the Covid-19 Shelter in Place

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Businesses across the country have suspended their operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and many more have cut their staff to all but essential workers. However, local infrastructure and municipal underground projects can’t slow or stop as a result.

Residents of these areas need the infrastructure and underground utilities during shelter-in-place orders, and municipalities are forced to continue their workload in the face of danger and adversity. Thanks to the selfless work of these individuals and government planning, none of the essential services that people need will halt as a result of Covid-19.

Underground Sewer

Underground sewer systems are among the most important services to residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as these services come under strain due to more usage. Fortunately, underground sewer repair and other projects will continue during the outbreak to ensure that these services continue uninterrupted.

Although there’s little evidence to support that Covid-19 can spread through sewer systems, protecting against sewage backups remains crucial. Many residents may find that a sewage overflow may cause problems, specifically because of the lack of cleaning supplies as a result of panic buying.

Therefore, municipal workers will continue to monitor sewer systems, build new lines when necessary, and conduct repairs. These projects will also follow all current mandates and safety procedures to keep workers and residents safe.

Utilities

Although utilities supply the power necessary to curb cabin fever and reduce boredom, they also play a vital role in the everyday lives of citizens, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak. Without gas, power, internet, and telephone lines, the ability for people to cook, work remotely, or contact family members and emergency services becomes compromised.

During the Covid-19 shelter-in-place requirement, municipal crews continue their normal routines. This will include the inspection of all above-ground and underground utility lines, as well as any repairs necessary due to weather, wear and tear, or any other type of issue. Like other businesses, these workers will apply social distancing guidelines and other protocols designed to minimize the spread of Covid-19 to coworkers or other members of the general public.

Emergency Pipe Replacements

Pipe repair and pipe replacement are two essential services that homeowners and renters need to survive and maintain their quality of life during the coronavirus pandemic. Without fully functioning pipes, water systems, and other utilities can be rendered useless. When pipes fail, it can create a catastrophic scenario, especially for customers who are confined to their home for the near future.

Municipalities understand the importance and maintenance of pipes. As a result, they continue to put crews to work, albeit with safety guidelines in place. Thanks to the efforts of these workers, everyone affected by Covid-19 can enjoy uninterrupted services and maintain their way of life as long as possible, despite the challenges posed by coronavirus.

Through planning and strict safety guidelines imposed by municipalities, residents can enjoy the services they need to make life easier during the Covid-19 pandemic. In these times of uncertainty, having these services will at least provide a bit of consolation and reassurance.

EPS Inc. has been a partner of Bay Area municipalities for multiple decades, we want to honor those that continue to serve during these difficult times facing our nation and are proud to support their efforts on municipal infrastructure projects whenever and wherever they need us.


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Underground Utilities Contractor Bay Area

Service Feeders – Overhead Utility Lines vs Underground Utility Lines

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Since the introduction of electric power transmission lines in 1889, overhead utilities have been the standard for all types of services. Electricity, phone, cable, and internet are all pumped into residential and commercial buildings via utility poles. But with the advent of underground digging and trenchless technology, utility companies and municipalities have begun to see the advantages of underground power. While both have their advantages, underground utility and power lines are quickly becoming the gold standard in the industry.

Overhead Utilities

Overhead utility lines are service feeders strung atop large poles. Measuring 30- to 60-feet in height, buried 6 feet below the surface, and made of wood, these poles are manufactured to withstand severe weather and inadvertent collisions from automobiles.

Feeder wires from these utility poles are then connected to your home through masts on the roof or the side of your home. Because these feeder wires are suspended in the air, they don’t interfere with anything on the ground. However, they are vulnerable to ice, falling tree limbs, and other inclement weather because of their exposure to the elements.

Underground Utilies

The service provider still uses utility poles to run underground utility lines, but instead of suspending them above ground, they run a pipe underground. Workers then push feeder wire through these underground pipes and into a transformer, which acts as an intermediary between the power source and your home. The feeder lines are installed into one side of the transformer, while the other side features cables that connect to your electric meter and circuit breaker.

Unlike overhead utility lines, underground utility lines aren’t exposed to weather that can cause severe damage. Utility companies also clearly mark these lines so that homeowners or construction crews don’t accidentally damage them when running trenches for other utilities, digging water fixtures, or landscaping. The result is a cleaner look and a reduced chance of damage that can take days or weeks to fix.

Advantages of Underground Utility Lines

Aside from less exposure to weather, underground utility lines have numerous other advantages. Underground power lines have extended reach due to less voltage drop. Voltage drop is a decrease in electrical potential, which is lessened by underground power lines because of lower reactance, or the impedance of a circuit.

Although overhead utility lines are more affordable to install — by many estimates, up to 80% cheaper — underground utility lines offset this through lower maintenance costs. With little repair work needed during heavy storms and no extraneous costs such as tree trimming, underground utilities often pay for themselves within a few years.

Transitioning from Overhead to Underground Service Feeders

In densely populated areas and new subdivisions, many builders and municipalities are turning to underground service feeders or transitioning from overhead to underhead. This minimally invasive service only requires workers to dig a small hole near the home and one near the utility pull. Using a trenchless boring machine, they can run the utility lines from the service pole to the home in just a few hours.

With so many advantages over overhead service feeders, underground service feeders are the next wave in how utility companies and local governments power homes. No other type of installation process offers streamlined service that protects the curb appeal of homes and their ability to get the power they need.

Express Plumbing a division of EPS Inc. has been servicing municipalities, industrial, commercial, and the residential sector in the Bay Area for multiple decades. We specialize in planning and executing civil engineering projects including underground utility lines.


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