When you need underground sewer pipe repair or water main installation, it’s important to hire the best contractors for the job. Doing so, safeguards your project against unexpected problems that could cause your building to shut down temporarily. We don’t have to tell you that even the slightest amount of downtime can have huge effects on your bottom line. So, when you need to hire a crew for underground utility repairs, consider the following to find the best team.

Sewer Pipe Locating Services

Before digging begins, it’s important to know what types of utilities are underneath the surface. This doesn’t just mean the ones that need servicing. Ideally, you have this information from when you bought the property or when you had utility locating service done. However, as we all know, we don’t live in an ideal world. The majority of commercial properties change hands and this information gets lost in the exchange. Or, the information is outdated because of recent renovations or changes to the building’s footprint.

Regardless, it’s critical that you hire commercial sewer contractors who take pipe location very seriously. Contractors who start excavation work without knowing what types of underground lines are in the vicinity should be avoided at all costs. Instead, only hire contractors who understand the importance of protecting all types of underground utility lines.

Hydro-Excavation Services

Some companies offer what is called hydro-excavation. This is a great option for working around underground utilities. When soil needs to be removed around underground lines, hydro-excavating uses a vacuum truck and high-pressure water to do this safely and avoid disturbing lines.

Isn’t hydro-excavating more expensive?

That’s the rumor, but sewer contractors who use this method argue that it’s much more cost-effective than hand-digging during excavation to avoid damaging perfectly good lines. Contractors also stress that hydro-excavating increases safety on the job and reduces energy. When heavy equipment isn’t used to move dirt, there’s less of a chance of being injured because an electrical line was hit.

While this method is suitable for every job, it might be for yours. Check with your sewer contractor to find out if hydro-excavation is an option.

Responding to Surprises

When searching for a contractor for underground work, learn as much as you can about their past jobs. Also, ask them if they ever ran into any problems and how they handled those issues. Running into a problem doesn’t make the contractor unworthy of your business. In fact, it’s unusual for unexpected problems not to pop up here and there. Surprises come with the job. What you want to know is how well the crew responded to the challenge. Did they stop work right away and formulate a plan? Did they communicate with the business and let them know what was happening? The answers to these questions help you determine how well the team manages obstacles.

Safety Record

Many excavation jobs that involve large-diameter underground sewer pipes often require digging underneath streets and sidewalks. These are public-right-of-way areas. If you have a job that requires this type of digging, it’s important to know that the crew has a clean safety record. What type of safety restrictions do they put in place around the area to make sure that the public isn’t in any danger? Do they manage traffic flow well? How many people will be onsite working on the line versus how many will be managing the safety aspects? Knowing this information is important so the public isn’t put at risk during the repair. The last thing you want is to be liable for accidents caused by inept contractors.


It is essential that you only hire bonded sewer contractors that are approved by the city. These individuals have the authority to pull permits. They have permission to dig under public-right-of-way areas. Never assume that a commercial plumbing company has these credentials. In fact, if you’re looking for a contractor for the first time, contact your city to get a list of approved contractors.

Do you need a city-approved sewer contractor in Los Angeles? Street Works Engineering has the credentials to do all underground sewer line repairs and water main installation. Contact us today at (888) 377-4002 for 24-hour emergency commercial plumbing services in L.A. County, San Bernardino County, and Orange County.