Vacuum excavation, otherwise known as hydro-excavation is a huge part of the ‘trenchless’ family of network install options widely available in todays construction world. Along with being a key component to Directional Drilling, vacuum excavation has become a go-to option for projects requiring a more gentle approach to earthworks.
Hydro excavation combines the power of high-pressure water (to soften the ground to a muddy spoil) and a large vacuum tank/hose to remove unwanted spoil and fluids from the area. Vacuum excavation is a great way of excavating paths for pipe routes that need to pass through large tree roots, garden beds, underneath pathways (without needing to break-out and reinstate concrete, bitumen or paving).
Many projects call for the use of vacuum excavation methods in order to protect sensitive flora. With respect to the network installation industry, Vacuum excavation is often a preferred method in areas which are densely populated with existing infrastructure. The risk factor of using a vacuum excavation machine in comparison to a traditional trenching bucket on an excavator, is far less. Vacuum excavation can be performed directly over the top of existing delicate infrastructure (power, gas lines, optic fibre cables) with little-to-no risk of damage associated at all.
One of the most prevalent uses for vacuum excavation with regards to drilling and/or trenching activities is potholing. This process usually combines the power of an electronic locator, or Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to locate along an allocated build route – After this is complete, the vacuum excavation unit is used to create potholes along the build route to expose existing assets and check depths/actual locations and levels so that crews initiating excavation works can plan required depths and ensure minimal effect on existing infrastructure.
Underground Network Services boast a variety of vacuum excavation trucks ranging in capacity from 3000L to 8000L, enabling the company to deliver a wide variety of sustainable excavation options for all projects.