Today, workers mostly use sewer line excavation when laying a new sewer line or when an old sewer line is so extensively damaged that sewer line replacement is the recommended approach. In those situations, obviously, you have to dig.
It can also be the preferred, more economical sewer repair option in some situations where the line is free of obstacles.
In many other circumstances, however, it’s not the more economical option. This is likely the case if it will impact landscaping or drainage areas above the sewer line or when there’s concern about damage to driveways, patios, and other paved areas. In those instances, plumbers will generally recommend trenchless sewer line repair when it is feasible.