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Hydro-excavation is the safest available method for digging near utilities for any reason. It is safer than a shovel and much faster, increasing efficiency

What is Hydro Excavation?

Hydro-Excavation is a non-mechanical and non-destructive process which combines pressurized water and a high flow of moving air to simultaneously excavate and evacuate native soils at a controlled rate. The soil and water slurry are conveyed by vacuum via an 6" tube to a truck-mounted debris tank. This process allows for quick, clean and precise excavations which require less backfill, less labor force, less restoration, and less environmental impact than conventional digging methods. In addition, we have a "debris transfer system" which allows the transfer of debris into another receptacle such as a roll off bin, or dump truck. This means our unit can keep digging and a less expensive piece of equipment can drive the debris away. We can also use this feature to put the dirt back in the hole. Our units are the only ones that have this feature at this time.

While fairly new to the California construction and excavation scene, hydro-excavation has been around for a long time, and is one of the fastest-growing industries in the US.

Hydro-excavation has been the norm in Canada for over 25 years. Due to the oft-frozen soil, it has been the only method of excavation possible in the wintertime.

All of this experience proved that not only was hydro excavation a great alternative for many applications, but it proved to be the safest method any time there are underground utilities.

A controlled flow, low-volume water stream allows for surgeon-like accuracy. This process removes only the amount of material necessary for repair or inspection, minimal material needs to be removed when compared with the large, less-than-accurate excavator or back hoe bucket.

Many other states in the US are currently using and expanding hydro-excavation in a wide variety of areas. The number of applications continues to grow as well. Remember, the key to hydro excavation is safety, which translates into cost savings and human savings.

Hydro Excavation Applicationshydro excavation goliath

Vacuum Excavation — Enhancing Digging Safety
On the job site, nothing is more critical than attention to safety. 

Safe practices protect your employees and the public from injury and even death. These are the obvious benefits of safety.

Often overlooked consequences of unsafe practices are:

• Loss of resources, time of reporting accidents, investigations, equipment damage
• Increased insurance costs
• Damage to company's reputation

Safety practices improve over time.

For example, in the early 60's seatbelts were optional on automobiles.  Driving your convertible down the road with four kids hanging out the back of the car was normal.   Today, automobiles have seatbelts that are required to be worn, air bags and antilock brakes. Children are required to be in child seats under penalty of law.  Safe practices migrate from good ideas into standard practice and even law.   Much like the education on passenger safety, safe excavation processes are becoming known and implemented as standard procedure.

Non-destructive excavation is redefining safety expectations.

The underground infrastructure is increasingly crowded. Lines can be almost anywhere.  Even isolated areas that seem remote may conceal major gas or telecommunication lines. 
Many contractors decide to accept that the risk of strikes can not be avoided, or it just costs too much. 

There is a safer and more productive way to address these risks as an integral part of your safety program — including Vacuum Excavation with either Hydro Excavation or Air Excavation.

More On Hydro-Excavation

Hydro excavation is the process of using pressurized water and a vacuum source to loosen and remove soil.  The process reduces the potential damage to the underground infrastructure while maintaining a productive rate of excavation where utilities may be buried.

Using a hydro excavator with water as your tool gives you several key advantages.

• Water is more productive, especially in tough soils.
• Water controls static electricity
• Water prevents the sandblasting affect of high-speed air.
• Water acts as its own lubricant
• Water can be heated for frozen ground excavation

Vacuum Excavation or Hydro-Excavation is a productive non-destructive excavation means that can reduce your risk of damage to lines and utilities.  The Vactor HXX Hydro Excavator provides you the benefits of a dedicated design, quality construction, user friendly controls, and local parts and service support and the reputation of Vactor built in every unit. 

Subsurface Utility Engineering

What is SUE?subsurface utility cleaning minnesota

Nearly 14 million miles of underground pipes, cables, and wires make American infrastructure the envy of the world. But, when owners, contractors, and engineers try locating buried lines, they often learn that the practice is still more art than science. Poor records, improper notification, and excavation errors all contribute to making subsurface utility breaks an often costly but preventable problem. GeoSpec, LLC is working to correct this situation. GeoSpec can locate underground utilities more accurately than a contractor using existing records, site plans, or even the “one-call” system. Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) is a discipline dedicated to the determination of the exact location of existing underground facilities. Use of SUE services minimizes inaccurate depiction or omission of buried utilities on final contract drawings. This in turn reduces costs, delays, and public inconvenience. In addition, by eliminating the risk of utility breakage, the project will be safer for both construction personnel and the general public, hence reducing liability concerns.

Subsurface Utility Engineering, or SUE is a new discipline that utilizes modern electronic line tracing
techniques (Designation), non-destructive air-vacuum excavation technology to expose subsurface
facilities (Locating), and state-of-the-art survey mapping techniques (Data Management). This process results in a three dimensional digital document that will identify utilities within your projects.

In recent years, tighter budgets have dictated that delays and unforeseen costs be minimized at all stages of a project. Inaccurate or incorrect depiction of existing utilities on contract documents can delay the project and increase costs. In fact, information obtained from other sources such as utility companies is rarely accurate enough for design purposes and may not depict 'As Built' conditions. In addition, vertical location information is almost never available. In the past, work may also have been performed and never documented.

minnesota hydro excavationWhen designers and engineers utilize a SUE professional, existing utility infrastructure is mapped precisely. This not only provides great insight to the subsurface conditions, but eliminates the unknown variables and contingencies designers face everyday. Often, surface structures may have been accidentally removed or covered over. That is why it is essential that you consult with GeoSpec during the planning stages of any project. We know time management and accurate budgeting is essential to any project, which is why we are committed to this methodology. We know SUE is more accurate and less costly than processes used in the past.

Finally, many new technologies emphasize trenchless methods such as directional drilling or horizontal boring. However, it is very conceivable that utilities may lay buried out of sight of the driller. Sometimes, these discoveries do not even appear on the contract documents. These 'surprise discoveries' translate into lost time and money. These discoveries often result in increased construction costs, costly delays or utility breakages, and all too often injuries or death.

Fewer Safety Hazards

These are just a few of the benefits of S.U.E. (Subsurface Utility Engineering) . As a viable solution to the far too common underground utility line breaks, subsurface utility engineering firms take pride in being an all-around better method of locating subsurface utilities. With SoftDig in the lead, this field has grown increasingly popular for several federal and state highway construction teams, along with large private firms as a more efficient and economical way to safely find utilties.

Using test holes to find the approximate horizontal location and depth of utilities at critical points on its path, there is little disruption to the existing land and no damage to the utility line. To create a cost-effective design the data gained from these locations can be used to increase compatibility between the existing and proposed utility lines.

Some important advantages to using Subsurface Utility Engineering include:

  • Fewer conflicts with utilities
  • Reduced delays in construction schedules because unforseen conflicts with utilities have been eliminated.
  • Elimination of added construction costs because unexpected utility adjusments are no longer needed.
  • Fewer contractor claims based on utility delays
  • Chance of severing a utility line is greatly reduced and therefore the safety level is increased.

Based on these factors and others, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has recognized Subsurface Utility Engineering as a professional engineering service and a necessary part of highway construction. This field has grown incrementally in the past few years and, by all indications, will continue to grow for years to come.

TV / Video Monitor Sewer and Pipeline Inspections

Residue Build Up
Clean Pipe

This service is available to provide a thorough inspection of any drain lines, piping, process equipment, or storage tanks to determine the necessary service approach.

Applications Include

• Can be inserted into an area 2" and larger
• Provide a permanent video record of inspection

Your Advantages

• Reduces downtime
• Provides a permanent video record of inspection
• Peace Of Mind

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