What Is Hydrovac Excavating and When Is It Used?

Traditionally excavation work was carried out using hand tools, backhoes and hydraulic excavators in more recent times. Whilst these processes certainly got the job done and exposed the required utilities, they were rarely used without incident.

Utility damage was a frequent occurrence, so too were accidents involving operators, and risk management became a very challenging aspect of an excavation job. Evidence of this can be see from the statistics that in 2017 alone, there were 400,000 accidents reported from sites across North America.

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Throughout the years technology has brought about great advancements in the field, in to reduce these accidents and deliver a far more efficient dig. The answer to this particular problem was hydrovac excavating, and here we take a look at what it is, and where it is used.

Basic Function

Hydro excavation is an option used by many a utility and excavating contractor owing to the efficiency and safety which it offers, as we ave use detailed. The process involves a high pressure industrial hose and a large tank which is mounted on top of an excavator truck.

The high water pressure is used to precisely loosen the earth, where the hole is being dug. Once this mud, rocks and soil has been broken up, it is sucked back into the tank and once filled that is taken off-site for disposal.

Benefits of Hydrovac

This particular technology offers much more than just safety benefits, there are also cost savings to be made as well as labor reduction. When compared with more traditional options, hydrovac also offers a far more environmentally friendly option, because of the speed in which it operates and the reduction in energy usage. It because of these benefits that conventional drilling is very much on its way out, in favor of hydrovac technology.

When Is Hydrovac Used?

This technology was first prominently used across many sites in Canada, where the icy weather and the frozen soil posed massive challenges for traditional excavation options. Adding hot water to he hydrovac process meant that frozen soil could be quickly and easily melted to facilitate excavation. This technology was utilized by companies within oil and gas almost as soon as it came into existence, and it has very much revolutionized the way in which they work.

Whilst these industries in Canada in particular found great benefit in the use of hydrovac, the technology has since found widespread use throughout the USA as well.

Any Downsides To This Process?

The only minor downside which some companies have found is that they are required to have a dump location, away from the site. Where air excavation is used, material was able to be dumped back on the site location. With this being said however, the enormous number of benefits which hydrovac is able to offer, far outweighs the inconvenience which dumping off site presents.

This is technology which has very much offered a high level solution to so many issues which existed regarding the excavation of land.