suction excavation

When the ground in a substation on a water treatment works needed excavating, the contractors chose Vacuum Excavation for the project as it would provide the safest excavation method.

Whilst the ground that needed to be exposed to reach the underground services was only 1 metre squared, the contractors were aware that 24 live cables lay underneath and this meant that it would be a tricky excavation job, fraught with potential danger.

Scoping Safe Excavation

Needing to ensure a safe excavation without striking any of the services happened, mechanical digging was quickly ruled out as it couldn’t provide enough control to ensure that all of the 24 cables would be avoided whilst clearing the ground.

Hand digging provides a risk of personal injury if any live services are stuck and so, PIER (UK) were called in to safely excavate the buried assets using Vacuum Excavation.

A combination of the Vacuum Excavator’s remote-controlled boom and on-board air lance were used to complete the job incident free. The precision control of the excavator’s boom ensured that there was complete accuracy and was supported by the air lance for precision clearing.

Safety First

Even though these types of jobs seem small, they are great examples of why safe excavation needs to be the first option when exposing live services. Had any services been struck during the excavation works, the risk of personal injury and service disruption to the local water supply, the consequences do not bare thinking about.