Mar 8, 2017

What Is Vacuum Excavation?

Excavation with a vacuum is the process of using a vacuum to break apart ground material with high-pressure water or air. It is commonly known as soft excavation technology and is considered just as safe or safer than hand digging within the tolerance zone near underground facilities.

Vacuum excavation allows workers on site to stay safe at the ground’s surface. It can eliminate trench cave-ins and accidental line damage. It is also the only method of identifying the precise depth of a utility.
With this kind of excavation, companies don’t have to dig by hand and they have a safer way to expose utilities with both hydro and air excavation.

Hydro Excavation
Hydro excavation safely uncovers underground utilities using high-pressure water paired with a high-speed vacuum. Hydro excavation is quicker than air excavation and is believed to be the most efficient type. You can’t re-use the soil material for refilling the space with this type.

Hydro excavation uses the water to break up the soil and create a hole. The use of water helps to lessen the soil’s hold, allowing the soil to be sucked up easily. The vacuum mechanism removes wet and muddy excavated material from the area. When excavating frozen ground, hot water can be employed to thaw the ground and dig. Advantages of hydro excavation include:

     Less invasive to nature compared to other types of excavating.
     Greater precision, allowing less material to be removed and less restoration.
     Less manpower compared to traditional digging.
     Cleaner area since dirt is stored in the debris tank, allowing for minimal disruption in traffic and reduced damage to power lines.

Hydro excavation is ideal in plumbing situations where you must deal with sewers and pipelines underground. This method ensures that the work is finished quicker and correctly. The use of hydro excavation also keeps utilities intact without worrying about damaging a pipe, which could cause serious issues.

Air Excavation
Air excavation uses compressed air to disturb the soil which is again vacuumed up into a debris tank. Air excavation safely exposes underground utilities and refilling with the dry material is doable.

As mentioned above, air vacuum excavation helps to loosen dirt and soil using compressed air. Then, the soil is stored in a tank. This process also has several advantages including:

     Safe identification of the type, diameter, condition, and depth of buried utilities.
     Dry debris can be used to refill the hole.
     Less disruption and a cleaner site.
     No need to hand dig or use other abrasive techniques.
     Better digging efficiency for projects.
     Very cost effective.
     Great for utilities which are buried deep or in a clogged area.

A Planning Test for Air Excavation
Making sure to do a test is important as well. Testing can reduce surprises, associated costs, and delays during the construction stage because you understand the subsurface conditions. When you test, you can also be sure to move utilities affecting the project and then place them in service before construction begins.

Testing gives you peace of mind and offers an accurate estimation of the cost. In addition, it can prevent damage from occurring.

There are many jobs which air excavation works well for and can be quite effective on including:

     Underground utility verification or daylighting.
     Remote excavation.
     Valve box and catch basin cleaning.
     Utility line service terminations.
     Clearing environmental boring holes.

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