Vacuum excavation technology

Vacuum excavation technology has existed since the 1950s, but only in recent years has its versatility been realised. In addition, a “vac-ex” is one of the easiest and most effective ways to locate utilities underground.

With increased efforts to prevent damage to buried utilities, a standard practice on a growing number of utility jobs is called “potholing” or “daylighting,” physically uncovering the buried utility to determine its exact location. Because vacuum excavating is faster, less labour intensive, and results in a smaller hole, it is fast becoming the equipment of choice for potholing.

With a portable vacuum excavator, the soil is displaced by a controlled stream of water directed by a hand-held wand and removed by suction. Water for excavation is discharged from the unit’s supply tank, the unit’s vacuum component picks up soil displaced during excavation and stores it in a holding tank to use later as fill or to be removed from the job site.

Depending on soil conditions, typical potholes can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Vacuum excavation carries the following advantages:

  • Less impact on the environment and minimises damage to utilities
  • Quieter, producing less vibration than other equipment, hence reducing operator fatigue
  • Easy to position on the worksite and easier to use, requiring only one operator

To discuss vacuum excavation equipment hire, get in touch on (01925) 228 674.