Category Archives: Health & Environment

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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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Municipal Infrastructure Rehabilitation.

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The infrastructure of municipalities deteriorates over time. That’s an inevitability. While continually scheduled maintenance and repair can provide short-term solutions to small or even more complicated issues, rehabilitation is a long-term answer to the deterioration of sewers, underground utilities, and pipes.

Unfortunately, the reality and necessity of new construction and rehabilitation projects often fall below the radar, simply because underground infrastructure isn’t always visible. Yet the increased use and demand of infrastructure due to a rising population can put enough strain on existing systems to cause a catastrophe. Before that happens, municipalities should consider these rehabilitation options.

Sewer Rehabilitation

Trenchless sewer rehabilitation has quickly gained traction as one of the best ways to prevent catastrophic sewer overflows into both homes and streets. Before the advent of this technology,  sewer overflows created an unsanitary condition, as well as an odor problem that could drive off potential businesses, new homeowners, and other investors.

Foster City Sewer Rehabilitation Project by EPS Inc.

With trenchless drilling, this problem becomes a thing of the past. One of the most effective methods of sewer rehabilitation is sliplining. During this process, a pipe of smaller diameter is inserted into the original sewer line and the area in between is grouted to prevent leaks or spillage. Conversely, pipe bursting is a common procedure used to install a larger sewer pipe. Using the current pipe as a guide, pipe bursting involves pulling a larger pipe through the existing pipe with a metal wire, effectively destroying the old pipe, but leaving a newer, larger, and more effective pipe in its path.

Underground Utilities Rehabilitation

Like sewer lines, underground utility lines can also fall victim to age and other environmental factors. However, many of these lines are located in areas with heavy vehicular or pedestrian traffic, as well as environmentally sensitive areas. As a result, the use of minimal rehabilitation techniques is necessary.

One of the least invasive ways to repair these underground utilities without the disruption of traffic or natural landscapes is through horizontal directional drilling (HDD). Using HDD requires less digging and manpower than traditional repairs, and it’s also been proven to reduce carbon and other airborne emissions. In comparison to traditional methods, HDD is a far better option.

EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing is the municipal contractor specializing in civil engineering, plumbing, heavy construction, underground construction and rehabilitation projects. We’ve been serving the Bay Area’s municipal, commercial and residential sector for multiple decades by providing experience combined with the most advanced techniques and equipment available.

Water and Wastewater Rehabilitation

Over time, water and wastewater networks and pipes fall victim to degradation due to a variety of factors, including age. Repair and maintenance is often a costly venture that can also cause anger from citizens, especially when workers have to dig up a person’s yard to conduct the repairs.

Fortunately, rehabilitation of these systems is less invasive due to new technologies. Directional drilling, pipe bursting, and other trenchless rehabilitation are far more cost-effective than traditional repairs. In-line stop-valves to reduce water pressure have also proven effective in the rehabilitation of water and wastewater lines.

Although many municipalities may spend a substantial amount of money on infrastructure rehabilitation — including funds that may be allocated to other areas of the budget — the cost savings become apparent almost immediately. With an infrastructure able to handle the workload, these municipalities will save money on repairs and maintenance — more than offsetting their initial expenditure.

If you have a rehabilitation project you want to discuss, contact Nick Bechwati, or schedule a meeting with us in the Bay Area.


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How Critical is Project Planning with Civil Engineering?

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Project planning in civil engineering is crucial to any municipal sewer, plumbing, or underground technology projects.

Unfortunately, many companies and contractors may say they have the know-how to complete the project, but leave the city and the taxpayers empty-handed.

Before you pull the trigger on massive sewage or plumbing undertaking, consider a highly devised plan and a company that has the knowledge to get the job done under budget and on time.

Why Poor Project Planning Exists

Before you get into planning a successful project, it’s integral to point out why poorly planned projects fail. In most instances, municipal engineering projects fail because of a lack of understanding, unrealistic expectations, far-fetched budgets, work crews with no experience, or impatience on both sides.

By keeping these potential failures insight, you can set yourself up for projects that will succeed within the stipulations of the city budget or the expectations of local politicians.

Proper Project Planning is All About Experience

EPS Engineering in the Bay Area has been providing planning, engineering, and underground construction services to local municipalities for multiple decades.

The key to any successful job is to hire a crew or company based on knowledge and experience. Our EPS Engineering team plays a crucial role in planning because we have the “been-there, done-that” mentality. When a problem arises, we have the on-the-job experience to know exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

In the cases of municipal waste and plumbing, a highly trained individual can observe the current situation, assess what needs to be done, and give a step-by-step plan on what needs to be done.

Not only does this bring the project to fruition in less time, but it also allows you to sync your budget with the project.

The Right Equipment for Civil Engineering

Even if you find an experienced crew ready to tackle the job, a company or contractor without the latest equipment can cause problems. When sewer or plumbing lines need replacement, traffic, olfactory conditions, and general unrest among citizens can derail a project if it lasts too long. The solution is to find a company that’s invested in their business enough to use the latest in excavation and plumbing technology. Using this equipment, they can get the job completed on time at a minimal cost or disturbance to taxpayers.

At EPS Engineering, we make sure we have the most advanced equipment and utilize the advanced, strategic techniques to get the project planning and execution accurate.

The Benefits of Planning

Careful planning can help turn failure into success. The most beneficial aspect of planning is that it can identify and mitigate risks. This works on both a small and large level. Even the smallest idea such as what equipment of personnel to use can have a profound effect on the result. Working hand-in-hand with a contractor can help you find the root of the problem and prevent it from happening.

Another advantage of planning or working with a contractor before entering a plumbing or sewer project is that it can reduce the failure rate of the project.

Expectations become imminent and assumptions are laid to rest. Above all, this irons out the situation and avoids any bumps or pitfalls. Yet only the right contractor can make this happen. It’s up to you to choose the right one for the job.

While municipal projects may seem to have an infinite budget, the coffers of the local government are only so deep. The next time you want to retool or replace existing or failing sewer and plumbing systems, work with EPS Engineering and Plumbing in the Bay Area. We put our experience, equipment, and techniques to work which always leads to project success.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss an upcoming project in the Bay Area, contact us to schedule a project discussion meeting.


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Join our Bay Area Water Conservation Efforts – Tips for the Family

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By now, parents throughout the country are relieved from the “back-to-school” rush.  Our Bay Area water conservation efforts have been implemented since we started in 1989.

As the #1 referred and preferred Bay Area plumbing contractor.  Our company is family owned and operated, we love the community we serve and always want to educate on preventative measures and tips to save our environment and save money for our clients.

Probably, the the last thing on your mind right now is water conservation, but we must remember the importance of saving water for our environment, and if that doesn’t interest you, how about saving money for yourself along the way?

Use these tips to make water conservation a fun learning experience for the kids, and something that will teach them good habits that last them a lifetime.

 

Water Conservation at Home

Must the faucet stay on the entire time while their brushing their teeth?  Once the brush and toothpaste is in their mouth, the average brushing time is two minutes.  Teach kids to shut off the faucet while brushing their teeth, this will save water and a hefty penny on your water bill

Conserve Water at School

Hygiene is a very important part of not spreading infectious diseases at school, remind kids to wash their hands before and after recess or anytime they eat, but also remind them to shut off the faucet while they’re scrubbing their hands.

This will help in the effort of conserving H2O and will quickly become a habit they follow at home.

Make the learning experience fun and rewarding.  It’s not a matter of you “have to do this” but “you should because”.

Discuss the details with the children and allow them to participate in these efforts that will help our environment and their future.

Debora Bekins, a Bay Area residential plumbing client said to one of our plumbers in San Francisco “I took my kids to the aquarium, and explained to them how important it is to keep our environment clean and healthy so we can enjoy things like this.  We wouldn’t want all these fish not to have water anymore, would we?”

That might be a little drastic, but not far off.  Whatever works for you and your family, do it.  Get the kids involved in your efforts and they’ll be so excited to share with their friends and teachers at school.

Water Conservation Tips for Mom and Dad

Set a good example by following the same instructions given to the kids

Fix leaks quickly and don’t let them get worse.  We are a 24 hour plumber!

Water your lawn early morning or late evening

Remember to turn off the sprinklers on rainy day

Go to a car wash that recycles water instead of washing it in the driveway

Don’t run the washing machine and dishwasher until they’re completely full

According to the EPA, the average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day per home.

If you implement these small water saving tips at home, you will not only be helping the environment but will also see a drastic change in your water bill.

“Maybe you could use the savings to take a trip with the kids to the aquarium or somewhere to enjoy the beautiful nature we so well need to protect and preserve.”

Let’s share and keep this conversation going.  Do you use any other methods of conservation? We would love to hear from you and share it with others in our Bay Area community.


EPS, Inc. is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and customers. Read More

Express Plumbing
307 N. Amphlett Blvd San Mateo, CA 94401
Phone: (800) 246-6425 $246 - $6425
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