Hard digging has been the standard norm used by industries around the world to remove soil. The process is often associated with unsafe methods and is destructive. The popularity of hydro excavation services began with oil and gas industries, particularly, in colder regions. Unlike the traditional method of digging soil, hydro excavation is a more precise and non-destructive way of moving soil and locating underground resources and utilities.
What is hydro excavation?
It is the process of excavating and removing soil with the aid of pressurized water. Instead of utilizing mechanical tools, the pressurized water creates a dirt slurry. Thanks to hydro excavation tools that can vacuum dirt slurry and reach deeper layers of the ground below. Only those with the expertise to use the technique can identify the existing pipelines and other utility lines ensuring there are no breaks and tears while conducting the soil digging process.
Working principle of hydro excavation
Hydro excavation tool combines high-pressure water, softening the ground, and thereby cutting through the soil. The next step involves the suction of the dirt slurry into the excavation tank. This allows the crew members to go into deeper layers of the soil and uncover the underground existing utilities. Once the work is done, the dirt slurry is released from the excavation tank back into the ground to cover the exposed surface utilities.
Opting two options
Hydro excavation services demand a vacuum source, utilizing two options.
- A fan system
- A positive displacement blower
A fan system can make air movements in a huge quantity. This enables a faster digging process and is also easy to operate and control. Unlike the positive displacement blowers, a fan system is lightweight, and less expensive as well.
On the other hand, a displacement blower has the potential to move air in longer distances than a fan system. Using a displacement blower one can dig at greater depths, but at a slower rate. It is preferred during heavy-duty excavation projects. The majority of the hydro excavation applications are implemented effectively using the fan system.
Popularity in cold regions
Hydro excavation became a widespread and popular tool for digging soil in oil and gas industries. The benefits of the hydro excavation services were initially realized by Canadian excavation contractors. They noticed the efficiency of hydro excavation when compared to other methods of digging or moving the soil. The extreme cold weather conditions in Canada cause the soils to freeze. This makes it difficult for traditional excavation methods to excavate. It was discovered that heater water utilized in hydro excavation proved to be an excellent method.
Applications of hydro excavation
Laying underground utilities, and subsurface facilities is a challenging job and have several risks. The existence of hydro excavation has made things easier, especially averting a lot of risks involved. Today, it is used for several excavation applications. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Installation of poles
- Installing signs
- Line installation
- Removal of debris
- Sewer assessment, rehabilitation, and repairs
- Locating underground and subsurface utilities
- Trenching and slot trenching
Hydro excavation services are used at a wide array of sites for construction, inspections, rehabilitation, and repairs.
Hydro excavation has become increasingly popular over the years and is an excellent alternative to mechanical excavation. Some of the benefits include:
- Minimal risk or injury
Hydro excavation can cut through tough soil easily posing minimal risks to the underground utilities and the people around. The process identifies pipes, and wires by softening the soil and vacuuming up the soil. It is in contrast to the sharp and heavy equipment used to scoop dirt slurry.
The tool operator makes use of a handheld water-pressurize wand to direct the water flow cutting through and softening the soil. Professionals can easily handle the least disruption to the environment. The wands are flexible, and small enabling the operators to handle in an array of locations.
- Timely completion of projects
Mechanical excavation tools can easily tear and damage underground and subsurface pipes and other utilities. It causes interruption which delays the construction projects significantly. On the other hand, hydro excavation tools are gentler and don’t delay or disrupt the construction project. Furthermore, there is no need for expensive repairs and is a faster, and more convenient process.
Hydro excavation services in industrial use have transformed the soil digging process. The underground and subsurface facilities and utilities don’t incur damages and tears. This aids in faster project completion and is cost-effective as well.