Hydro-Excavation Then and Now

Hydro-Excavation Clogged drains and pipes are a serious issue and can lead to water damage of your property, lost time and in the case of a business, interruption of operations and services. The goal for you is to get to the source of the drainage problem quickly and effectively to minimize or eliminate damage. The process of Hydro-Excavation makes solving such problems efficient and easy in order to get your household or business up and running as quickly as possible.

The beginnings of this process are nearly as old as the earth that Hydro-Excavation moves. Moving earth with water is commonly referred to as erosion. If free-flowing water can create land erosion,
then the Hydro-Excavation process can be called “controlled erosion.” Some of the first documented cases of this took place in California by the gold rushers in the mid- to late-1800’s. A common practice was to use steam pump-pressurized water to erode land masses, and then screen the slurry in order to capture the gold. This process is referred to as Hydraulic Mining. The severe environmental impact of Hydraulic Mining still affects our water today.

The next hundred years would yield many breakthroughs for this type of controlled erosion excavation. Thirty years ago, the vacuum device needed to remove the slurry was mounted on a truck. Now, with the portability of the vacuum device, Hydro-Excavation is a reality.

Better water pressure systems, more efficient vacuum systems and the addition of hot water to facilitate digging in frozen conditions would be further improvements seen in the industry. These technological advances translate into safety for workers, the public and the environment. Dangerous digging events can now be safely excavated by promoting this safe digging process.

With less material removed, jobs can be completed much faster than with conventional equipment. Unsightly piles of dirt are not mounded in the public view with the Hydro-Excavator’s onboard debris storage. This material can be safely stored out of public view and without fear of runoff into municipal sewer systems or waterways.

The Hydro-Excavation process requires less labor force than conventional digging methods. With the ability to safely uncover buried utilities, inconvenience to the public will no longer be in the
form of floods, fires or power outages due to accidental line damage.

Proper excavating activity around buried utilities is often subject to short cuts, namely non-mechanical exposure of the utility. More often than not, this results in serious injury and sometimes death. Hydro-Excavation is a non-mechanical, non-destructive way of safely exposing buried utilities.

This process also allows for workers to stay on the surface and out of the excavation. By virtually eliminating accidental line damage and trench cave-ins, could there be a more safe way?

The Hydro-Excavation process lends itself to be a very clean and precise method of digging. Less material removal means that less disruption to the surrounding environment occurs. Debris safely stored onboard removes any worry of blowing or runoff of sediment into sewers and waterways. And in this industry, safety in any form is never ever a bad thing, be it for the worker, the public, the environment or ideally, all of the above.

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