Underground facilities like pipes and sewer systems require maintenance just like everything else, but accessing those underground facilities can be a bit of a hassle. The process of digging a small hole to expose a portion of the facilities is called daylighting or potholing, and it is necessary to look for any issues that will need to be resolved, like cracks or other damage. One of the most common methods for digging such a hole is known as hydro excavation, and it is exactly what it sounds like.
Hydro excavation or “potholing” is the process of using water under high pressure to dig out an area that would otherwise be damaged by a shovel or backhoe. The process is much simpler than other methods of digging, and it’s faster as well. In the past, there was no option except using a large backhoe to remove any dirt blocking the underground pipes, but that often caused damage to those pipes and removed far more dirt than was necessary.
A backhoe is also quite dangerous if handled improperly. Any time dangerous heavy machinery can be avoided for a job, it is best to do so. Hydro excavation methods require no heavy machinery beyond a vehicle to carry the air vacuum and water pump. This makes hydro excavation inherently safer than using heavy machines.
The only other real option beyond hydro excavation is simply digging by hand with a shovel, but that is clearly not the most efficient method. The job is physically intensive, and it requires a much larger volume of displaced soil since it is so inaccurate.
Hydro excavation eliminates the issues with standard daylighting methods of performing potholing services, and it does so in a safe, affordable way. The process is non-mechanical, making it safer, and it more accurate than any other method, so you can be sure that no resources will be wasted. Hydro excavation services are available in many locations.
The process of hydro excavation is similar to the process behind pressure washing. Water is put under incredibly high pressure and forced through a spout that channels the water into a tool for removing particulate matter from the area. The water breaks the soil apart before an air vacuum removes the soil from the hole, where it then travels to a truck-mounted debris tank. The tank is then emptied off the property in a designated dumping site.
Technology like this provides untold utility for the workers who use it. Potholing has never been easier than it is with this method, and the benefits extend to the time commitment of the project and the overall cost. Precision jobs require precision tools, and hydro excavation is as precise as possible.
The environment will also be better off with hydro excavation. Since the technique requires no heavy equipment, there are no fuel emissions to worry about. Not only that, but water is the only element introduced to the soil during excavation, making it safe for the surrounding flora. The method takes significantly less time than traditional digging methods, and it makes repairing underground facilities like sewers and pipes a breeze. If you are interested in hydro excavation services, search your local community for one of the many service providers near you.