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6 Common Applications of Hydro Excavation

Environmentally conscious companies are rapidly switching to sustainable practices. When digging and excavation are involved, hydro excavation is the safest and most environmentally friendly way to remove soil. The equipment used in the process is precise and easy to operate. Professionals can carry out digging work efficiently and save significantly on restoration costs; a normal consequence of using traditional digging equipment such as a backhoe. 

These features make hydro excavation an attractive option for companies in piping, oil drilling, construction, mining, plumbing, landscaping, and other industries.

Why Hydro Excavation?

The hydro excavation process makes use of a high-pressure water stream that cuts through the soil. The resulting sludge is sucked up through a vacuum pipe into a debris tank. The use of air and water greatly reduces the opportunity for damaging utility lines, cables and pipes. The hand-operated high-pressure water wand can cut soil in areas that would otherwise have been inaccessible with other excavation machinery.

Here a few reasons to choose hydro excavation over traditional methods:

  • It's faster than traditional digging methods and can save you days of work .
  • It's safer than traditional methods since workers can do the digging work from a safe distance.
  • The equipment is compactly transported on a hydro excavator truck. It makes it easier to work on multiple sites in a day.
  • The trucks are equipped with a huge water tank and debris storage. This means that more time is spent on the actual work instead of refilling the water tank and emptying the debris.
  • It keeps the production of sludge, slurry, and debris to the minimum, making the restoration easier, cheaper and faster.

Applications of Hydro Excavation

The hydro excavation process is versatile and can be used in multiple scenarios. Its most common applications include:

1. Potholing/Daylighting

Potholing (or daylighting) is carried out when a fault in an underground utility pipe needs to be repaired. It's the practice of digging a narrow hole to confirm the location of an underground utility such as a pipe, cable, etc. 

The traditional potholing method includes the usage of a backhoe and manual digging and both of them have a disadvantage. The backhoe can damage the utility pipe and is potentially destructive. Manual digging is extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

Vacuum excavation methods eliminate the possibility of damage to the underground utility. Air excavation and hydro excavation are minimally invasive methods of potholing. However, air excavation is unsuitable for certain soil types, leaving hydro excavation as the best choice for potholing.

2. Slot Trenching

Slot trenching is done to install underground utilities. This construction method involves the removal of soil to create deep and long trenches. Using a backhoe or manual labour for the project can be cumbersome and destructive in some cases.

Hydro excavation companies can quickly and safely remove and haul the soil. They can also avoid over-excavation, a common problem faced by workers when using a backhoe.

The possibility of trenches caving-in poses a threat to workers' lives. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25 workers are killed each year in trench-related mishaps. 

The hydro excavation process contributes to a safer working environment by using long pipes for soil removal from a safe distance.

3. Line, Sign, and Pole Installation

The hydro excavation process facilitates easy installation of power poles, traffic lights, signposts, etc. The excavation truck can be parked at a suitable distance from the excavation spot so as not to obstruct traffic.

Hydro excavation companies (such as Enviro Care) are well equipped to quickly and efficiently complete such projects. We can keep the obstruction caused to the flow of city life at a minimum.

4. Cold-Weather Digging

Cold weather and almost-frozen soil considerably increase the difficulties of excavation. Many construction projects in the Intermountain Region come cease in the winter. Unfortunately, emergencies and faults in underground utility pipelines, cables, water lines can occur in any weather, causing the water supply, electricity or the internet to go out for weeks.

Hydro Excavation services always ought to be ready for such situations. And one method to cut quickly through frozen soil is to use hot water in the application of hydro excavation. It makes digging much safer and faster, potentially saving thousands of people from major inconveniences.

5. Debris Removal

The storage tank of the hydro excavator can haul a large quantity of debris, sludge, and slurry away from the construction site. Burning waste and debris at construction and demolition sites with vegetation is not recommended because of the fire hazard.

A traditional backhoe has less capacity for storing and hauling debris. It would take multiple trips to clear as much debris as a hydro excavation service can remove in one trip. The vacuum pipe of a hydro excavator is much better at collecting debris than the loader of a backhoe.

6. Remote Digging and Excavation

The most unique application of hydro excavation is remote digging. Hydro excavators make remote digging possible with their extendable vacuum pipe and water wand. 

Workers can access hard-to-reach areas such as narrow streets, congested construction sites, areas blocked by trees and other obstacles using a hydro excavator. The hydro excavator truck can be parked several feet away from the digging site. 

A backhoe does not offer this luxury. Some damage to the surrounding area is inevitable when the backhoe is forced into a cramped area. 

Contact Enviro Care for Hydro Excavation Services

Enviro Care offers hydro excavation services throughout the Intermountain Region. Whatever your need, we can figure out the perfect cost and a time-efficient solution for you. 

We have a team of highly skilled professionals who can guide and work with your team from the planning to the execution phase. We have a fleet of heavy-duty hydro-blast vacuum trucks that can dig deep holes and trenches with high precision. We can help your team with daylighting, slot trenching, stormwater sewer cleaning, debris removal, etc.

Enviro Care believes in environmental sustainability, so our services are in high demand among companies that are sensitive to their direct and indirect impacts on the environment. Our methods are non-invasive and non-destructive, and we train our team to ensure safety on the site.

We’d be happy to learn more about your business and offer you the most environmentally friendly and efficient excavation solutions around. Contact us today to learn more.