Hardened soil makes it especially difficult to excavate using traditional digging methods, but the job can be handled with ease and precision using hydro excavation. Hydro excavation, also called hydro vacuum excavation, is an eco-friendly method of removing soil using pressurized water and a vacuum. This method has grown in popularity because it’s a more precise and safer way to excavate soil in various construction applications. It also offers numerous cost and time savings that appeal to clients with both large and small excavation needs.
How Hydro Excavation Works
The hydro excavation process begins with the right kind of equipment system that combines high-pressure water and an air vacuum. The pressurized water cuts through and breaks up soil, which is especially beneficial when the soil is compacted. The air vacuum is then used to lift and transfer the slurry of dirt and water from the excavation site and deposit it into a debris tank in a highly controlled manner. Because it’s a nonmechanical, nondestructive process, hydro excavation reduces many of the risks and costs found in traditional excavation methods.
The vacuum source for hydro excavation equipment may be a fan system or a positive displacement blower. While a fan system is often the more effective option for most applications, a displacement blower may be used when greater depths are required. Displacement blowers can move air longer distances, but they operate at a slower rate. Fan systems are easier to control and operate and offer faster excavations, which cuts down on expenses.
Hydro Excavation Applications
Hydro excavation is used in numerous excavation applications and within several industries, especially for installing underground facilities and subsurface utilities. It also offers a more accurate way to remove soil and locate existing underground utilities without damaging the lines or increasing the risk to the workers. It may be used to rehab water and sewer pipes to reduce the risk of damaging or puncturing the pipes, which eliminates potentially costly and time-consuming repairs. For landscaping projects, the accuracy of hydro excavation ensures the surrounding soil isn’t disturbed and stays compact while removing any necessary soil. It’s also used for daylighting, potholing, and pole and sign installations, among other things.
Benefits of Hydro Excavation
While mechanical excavation methods still have their place in many construction applications, in many cases, hydro excavation provides the accuracy you need with the least amount of damage to the surrounding area. Some of the many benefits include;
- Accuracy: Conventional excavation by manually digging with a shovel or using a backhoe isn’t as accurate as removing soil using hydro excavation, which is more precise and requires less backfilling when the job is done.
- Save Time and Money: Less backfilling requirements saves time and materials, which cuts down on the additional expense for restoration. Underground cables, lines and pipes are circumvented by the water, which prevents cracks and leaks. Minimizing damage to existing utilities means there’s less chance of incurring hefty expenses for restoring interrupted utilities, less time spent making repairs and reduced insurance and liability costs.
- Safer Working Environment: Heavy machinery always poses some safety risk to workers, which is eliminated with hydro excavation. Workers also stay safer on the surface of an active dig because hydro excavation eliminates trench cave-ins and accidental line damage.
- Minimal Damage to Surroundings: Heavy machinery can also damage the area surrounding the excavation site. Hydro excavation equipment can be kept at a distance, so damage is kept at a minimum.
- Reduced Congestion: Because hydro excavation equipment is kept away from the excavation site, the result is a reduction in traffic congestion.
Call the Excavation Experts
Earthworkz Construction is a full-service excavation contractor with the ability to meet all your hydro excavation needs. Founded in 2009, we remain one of the most respected drilling contractors and utility infrastructure companies in the greater Kansas City area. We have over 20 years of experience between our principal owners and offer expert construction services from small jobs to extensive contractor projects. Whether your excavation needs includes dirt or solid rock, you can count on us to have the right skills and equipment to get the job done. Contact us at 816-355-0280 to schedule your hydro excavation project today.