Effective Subsurface Engineering Relies on Hydrovac

Potholing is safer, cheaper, and faster.

Posted 15:11 December 10, 2022
Last Updated 15:18 December 10, 2022

As the country expands in population and evolves in technology, there's an ever-increasing need for new and improved infrastructure. While advances in telecommunications, gas, electric, and other utilities proliferate, they amount of land for these utilities remains constant. Existing infrastructure frameworks continue to deteriorate become outdated. As a result, new projects are burdened by challenges of working directly in the path of existing infrastructure.

“Existing subsurface utilities and their related structures constitute a significant portion of this infrastructure,” explains the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE). “They create risks on projects. Inaccurate, incomplete, and/or out-of-date information on the existence and location of existing subsurface utilities reduces the engineers’, owners’, and contractors’ abilities to make informed decisions and to support risk management decisions regarding the project’s impact on existing utilities.”

The lack of precise infrastructure information is a hazardous and expensive problem. Potential service interruptions exist for telecommunications companies whose buried lines are damaged by poorly performed excavation. Injury risk that can be caused by a strike on a natural gas line. Starting project work that does not involve a rigorous underground utility information and an extensive planning stage can have detrimental impacts across a wide range of utility industry sectors. This is the very reason for utilizing subsurface utility engineering (SUE).

SUE is the convergence of data-processing technology and mechanical equipment that allows for the depiction, collection, and management of existing underground utility information. It is a fundamental step to planning the stages of construction and utility work. It mitigates many of the immense risks involved in working with or around buried infrastructure.


36% of annual underground utility damage is the result of poorly performed excavation. A failure to pothole is the largest, and the estimated total damage in the U.S. have reached an all-time high. Damages have increasing by 16% over the past year. The data accuracy potholing achieves is unparalleled by any other method. Ultimately, potholing enables owners, engineers, and work crews to:

• Access critical information immediately. Even when armed with charts and utility maps, a project still runs the risk of striking critical underground infrastructure. Having visual verification via potholing is as accurate as it gets. Potholing offers a distinct insight into the type of utility, it's depth, and it's horizontal position. Potholing can also reveal any existing damage.

• Prevent worker hazards. The data shows that construction crews face excavation-related death and injury every single year. Without a dependable way to locate and circumvent crucial underground utility infrastructure, the safety of excavation equipment operators is put at risk. Potholing enables construction teams to find dangerous infrastructure and to prevent these serious hazards.

• Prioritize efficiency. While potholing can feel like an extra, unnecessary step in the construction process, it actually saves time over the course of the project. Potholing minimizes the chance of accidently hitting an underground line and causing the kind of damage that results in significant downtime and precedes extensive extensions to the project timeline. Potholing is also much faster at identifying underground hazards compared to traditional charts and maps. When combined, nothing in the industry is safer.

• Control costs nd maintain safety compliance. In addition to the high expenses related to project downtime, there's also the huge costs to repair damaged utility lines. Projects that fail to pothole have increased potential for damaging excavation equipment and incurring non-compliance fines. SUE is vital to staying on budget, staying on-time, and staying in-sync with regulatory bodies.

For your next construction project, contact Hole Hogz today and keep your worksite safe. We are potholing experts. We work on municipal, commercial, and residential projects. We service Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and most parts of Clark County Nevada.