R.H. Moore Co. Inc.

R.H. Moore Company Inc. isn’t afraid to tackle difficult underground water and sewer excavation and installation jobs. “We specialize in large-diameter, deep excavations,” Vice President Kevin Moore says. “That’s what we try to pursue; it seems we excel at tougher jobs.” The Murrells Inlet, S.C.-based company is one of the largest underground utility contractors in South Carolina, serving its home state as well as North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

The company performs a number of underground utility services, including:

  • Emergency repairs on water, sewer, and storm drainage lines;
  • Installation of large diameter water, sewer and storm drainage;
  • Pump station installation;
  • Highway construction;
  • Heavy excavation, site preparation and site grading;
  • Demolition and debris removal; and
  • Erosion and sediment control installation and maintenance.

R. H. Moore Company Inc. was founded in 1982 as primarily a water and sewer contractor, and the business has expanded into other sectors over the years. Moore says the company has found the majority of its work lately in two areas: municipal water and sewer projects, as well as water and sewer installations in refurbished residential developments that were half-completed because of the downturn in the real estate construction market. 

“For the last several years, the private sector had been so good, we haven’t had to rely solely on municipal work, but that’s pretty much all we’re doing now,” Moore says. “We’ve had a strong history with local municipalities to where we were already established a good name, so now that we’ve transitioned back to primarily all municipal work again, they know who we are and that we do a good job.” 

Like many others in the construction industry, R.H. Moore has been forced to make adjustments to its operations, including staff reductions. While Moore is concerned about the state of the industry, he is hopeful about what the next few years hold for his company. 

“Hopefully, we’ll still be one of the top companies in our area,” he says. “We hope that the market will allow us to get back to the position we were in for the last several years.” 

Sludge Job

One recent project that demonstrates Moore’s diversity is a sludge-draining project in Walterboro, S.C. The company was contracted by the city of Walterboro to remove sludge from a pond that was to be decommissioned. This was the first time the company had performed such a job, Moore said.

To accomplish this, crews cut a ditch on the side of the pond and cored an existing manhole nearby. A corrugated, perforated plastic pipe was run out of the manhole into the pond, while a polyliner – a high strength, low permeance durable plastic sheeting  – was placed over the ditch. 

Crews put the pipe on the liner, braced the pipe with a stone, placed several large sediment bags on the liner in the ditch and pumped the sludge into the bag to separate it from the water. Water leeched out of the bag into the pipe and into the manhole while the sludge was trapped in the bags. When the bags dry out, they will be taken to a landfill, Moore says. The project had a contract value of $415,633.

Another recent project involved installing a force main for the Beaufort Jasper Water and Sewer Authority from September 2009 to April 2010. The $2.4 million project called for the installation of 36,000 feet of 12- to 14-inch pipe. The project was completed about two months ahead of schedule with no leaks, Moore adds. 

R.H. Moore crews also recently finished work on a streetscape/utility relocation project in Myrtle Beach, S.C., close to the city’s tourist area. The $3.2 million project was finished without disruption to the region’s hospitality industry, Moore says. R.H. Moore worked closely with Myrtle Beach city officials and local homeowners on coordinating the project to prevent major problems, he adds.

“We are one of the top water and sewer 

companies in our area,” Moore explains. “Most municipalities and private owners that we work for would vouch for our abilities and the job that we provide.”

‘Tight-knit Group’

R.H. Moore Co. Inc. prides itself on the relationships it has with its clients, as well as subcontractors. “We’ll do whatever it takes to make the [property] owners or municipality satisfied,” Moore says. “We have a good safety record, don’t take shortcuts and don’t bid a job to try to set it up for change orders.

“We have a pretty tight-knit group of subcontractors, as well as general contractors,” he adds. “We tend to get along with pretty much everyone we work with. Even when we run into problems, we tend to work them out without a lot of finger pointing.”

The company has an experienced staff with an average tenure of 15 years for project managers, 20 years for foremen and 11 years for skilled workers. “We’re like a big family; most people have been here 15 to 20 years, if not longer,” Moore says. “We promote from within. A lot of our older guys have sons who work here now.”

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