Exposing Underground Utilities with Hydro Excavation

Hydro excavation has less risk of damaging underground lines.

Posted 10:23 August 03, 2020
Last Updated 11:37 September 09, 2020

Hydro excavation is a method of removing soil through the use of highly pressurized water and a vacuum tank. It is a non-destructive excavation method. It uses an air vacuum to evacuate soil in a controlled manner. It safely brings up the soil and transfers it to a debris tank. This less destructive excavation method is the perfect solution for exposing underground utilities.

Traditional excavation methods such as hand digging or augers often caused safety issues, numerous hazards, and work delays. With hydro excavation, pipes can be installed, repairs can be done to existing lines, and new utility lines can be installed with fewer safety and service issues.

Exposing Utilities

Hydro excavation has numerous applications. A common application is to expose underground utilities. Checking utility lines can now be done in a safer manner. Damaged lines can be uncovered and repaired with minimal disruption to the surrounding area.

Hydro excavation makes use of water to soften and break up the soil that is being removed. The soil is then transferred to a debris tank. This reduces the risk of damage to any buried utilities. The process of using hydro excavation to expose underground utilities is sometimes called potholing or day-lighting.

To expose utilities, a combination of pressurized water and a vacuum is used. Water is injected into the ground by using a handheld wand to wash away the soil in the area safely. A debris hose then transfers the soil into the debris tank. Because it is non-destructive, hydro excavation reduces the risk of damaging the underground pipes and cables. Using this method, the type, depth, and location of the utility is established accurately.

This method allows for clean, speedy and complete evacuations of the area that needs to be dug up. It requires less less back-fill, restoration, and less labor compared to typical digging processes. Accuracy is maintained because of the controlled flow of the water stream. Hydro excavation only removes the needed quantity of soil for examination and reparation of any problems in the utility lines.

Hydro excavation process excavation and digging to be done without disturbing the surrounding soil and underground utilities. It can even be performed when the ground is frozen. A heater is installed into the hydro excavation water equipment which can remove frozen soil efficiently.

Hydro excavation also eliminates unnecessary traffic congestion and it provides a cleaner excavation site. Finally, hydro excavation is cost effective. It reduces unnecessary costs that may have been spent if manual or mechanical excavating methods are used. These advantages have made hydro excavation the preferred method for exposing underground utilities.