Vacuum Excavation Project: An Old Culvert

PIER (UK) were required to take part in a Vacuum Excavation project when a customer in Cornwall needed to excavate an old culvert that had been lying dormant for several years. A quick solution was required to remove the built-up material.

Throughout a number of years, ground material had begun to build-up inside the culvert, almost completely filling it and with the contractors unsure of the structure integrity, they suggested the use of a Vacuum Excavator.

Restricted Access

The contractors understood that gaining access to the remotely located culvert would cause a real challenge but with the ability to run extension pipework off the Vacuum Excavation unit, it would provide an ideal solution. In order to meet this challenge, 35 metres of extension pipework were used to reach down to the culvert.

The Vacuum Excavation unit generates strong suction power which is used to pull away the material, without the need to physically dig. A remote-control operated boom provides precise positioning of the air flow and the air lance supports the excavation by breaking up the residue.

Safety First

Initially, a 3-metre depth was cleared so that the contractors could thoroughly inspect the structure and ensure that the safety of everyone on-site was paramount, before anyone entered the culvert to continue with the excavation.

This process continued: carefully excavating 3-metre lengths at a time before downing tools to further inspect the structure. In total, the culvert measured 8-metres in length with a height and depth of 1.7 metres. The culvert was safely excavated across 3 days.

The Vacuum Excavator benefits from having a built-in skip which is capable of holding up to 8m3. This means that the ground could be cleared quickly each day and then stock piled on-site, ready for removal.

The customer was thrilled with the result of the Vacuum Excavation project in which the PIER (UK) operators completed.

Culvert partially excavated


culvert excavation













As the industry leaders in Vacuum Excavation, PIER (UK) will listen carefully to their customers’ requirements and provide a solution that is suitable for the job at hand.

You can contact our team on email or on 01925 228 674. Alternatively, you can view our latest projects on our Social Media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.