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What is Hydrovac Excavation? What are the benefits of Hydrovac Excavation services?

What is Hyrdovac Excavation image

What is Hydrovac Excavation? What are the benefits of Hydrovac Excavation services?

What is Hyrdovac Excavation image

Hydro vacuum (hydrovac) excavation uses special technology to provide a safer, more effective way of excavating a property than traditional methods like digging. Excavation of a property may be necessary for several situations, such as building a new house with a concrete foundation or repairing or installing a drain. An excavation may also be necessary to expose underground utility lines or other underground items.  


If your property needs excavation, Mr. Mike’s Plumbing is one of the few companies in Calgary that offers expert services in hydrovac excavation.    


What is Hydrovac Excavation?

Simply put, the process of excavation involves moving or removing soil. Hydrovac excavation uses highly pressurized water to break up the dirt and rocks underground. The remaining debris and slurry of liquefied soil and water are then removed using an industrial strength vacuum from a special hydro excavation truck into a holding tank, uncovering existing utility lines and pipe systems in the deeper layers of the ground. Hydrovac excavation is much safer than manual digging, keeping the risk of breaks or tears to a minimum. It is also more precise than airvac (a similar process, using air as opposed to water). For this reason, hydrovac excavation is one of the most popular methods of removing and cleaning the ground. 


Where can Hydrovac Excavation be Applied?

Hydrovac systems are used at a variety of construction sites for repairs and inspections. Some of the specific applications include:


  • Daylighting – Daylighting is the process of unearthing any land covered with sand, gravel, concrete, or ice to expose the underlying utilities to the daylight. Hydrovac trucks help to locate the underground utilities by digging trenches into the ground at close proximity to the utilities.  
  • Installation – Different sized trenches or pits can also be used to install new utilities. Hydrovac trucks help to dig posts, as well as piling holes of different diameters and depths. These holes can then be used to install poles, fences, signs, etc. while also providing the structural foundation to support them. Hydrovacs are ideal for slot trenching, which is the process of digging narrow trenches to install pipelines, cables, posts, etc. Since Hydrovacs are very precise, they are able to dig within narrow dimensions that other methods are not able to achieve.  
  • Debris Removal and Clean Up – Hydrovac trucks can remove any type of material (wet or dry) such as water, soil, sludge, spills, and other debris. These trucks are useful for cleanup tasks like removing debris from a construction site, cleaning up spills, cleaning hazardous waste, or even cleaning up after natural disasters. The trucks can perform the cleanup tasks from a remote distance, removing traffic from the site.
Hydrovac Excavation image
  • Backfill Restoration – Hydrovac trucks can complete the excavation project by refilling the trench or pit with soil and bringing the area back to its original state, such as after a sewer line or electrical cable installation or repair.

What are the Benefits of Hydrovac Excavation?

As we’ve already discussed, Hydrovac excavation is a safe and effective alternative to traditional excavation methods. Some of the benefits include:

  • Minimal risk of damage – The high-pressure water used in Hydrovac minimizes the risk of damaging underground pipes and fixtures, as opposed to the heavy backhoes or sharp equipment used in digging. Damaging underground pipes or utilities is one of the biggest risks of traditional excavation. Even a small nick to a pipe or sewer line can lead to serious issues.
  • Minimal risk of injury – Hydrovac is a much safer option for both workers and passersby. Backhoes, shovels, and diggers can be dangerous and even the most experienced workers may have accidents. Since Hydrovac uses only water and a vacuum, the chances of injury are extremely low.
  • Much quicker – Hydrovac uses advanced technology in a fast, convenient process. Traditional methods of excavation may take weeks, depending on the size of the project. By contrast, many Hydrovac excavations can be done in as little as a day.
  • More cost-effective – Hydrovac reduces the need for other costly equipment and materials.  Hydrovac also usually requires a smaller crew and since the process is quicker, the cost can be much lower than conventional methods. Since the risk of tearing or damaging underground pipes is significantly reduced, this can potentially save both time and money in delays and costly repairs that may be necessary if any underground utility is damaged using a different method.
  • Accuracy – Hydro excavation is far more precise than manual digging. The workers use a handheld pressurized wand that cuts through and softens the soil, easily maneuvering through the ground. This makes Hydrovac ideal for any situation involving delicate projects in need of precision.   
  • More environmentally friendly –  Hydro excavation is less invasive than traditional methods and tends to be less harmful to the environment. There is less risk of damaging the land and surrounding ecosystems, which is especially important if the work is being done near wetlands or streams. Hydrovac does not use chemicals or other harmful materials, and since it is a more precise method, it does not remove more of the earth than is necessary.
  • Use in winter – Hot water can be used in Hydrovac systems to heat up and soften soil that has been frozen, so projects can continue even into the colder months.

In essentially all cases, excavation is a task that should be left to well-experienced professionals and not attempted on your own. The hydrovac form of excavation dramatically reduces any associated risks and is an effective, cost-efficient method of getting the job done. Most of our excavation clients at Mr. Mike’s Plumbing are people who represent commercial building spaces, such as property and maintenance managers. You can call us for a quote for your project and Mr. Mike’s will match or even beat any other quote given to you. We look forward to discussing your specific needs and determining if Mr. Mike’s Hydrovac services are the right choice for you!