From:  Keeping Our Finger On The PULS

By:  Ryan Frank, Ecotech

Vacuum 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.  This is the only true method for identifying the accurate depth of a utility. 

As part of an overall damage prevention program especially when dealing with high value utilities, we always recommend vacuum excavation to expose all utilities in the proposed path of excavation.  For projects where high volume vacuum excavation services are needed, and with large quantities of spoil being removed from the job site, we partner with Ecotech.

Ecotech’s hydro excavation team uses high pressure air or water to expose buried utilities.  This process allows us to dig through any type of soil including clay, rocky soil, or even frozen earth without damaging buried utilities or harming underground lines.  A vacuum hose then transfers both soil and water to the debris tank on the truck.

It is against the law to dig with traditional excavating equipment without a 1Call and the risk of digging without knowing where to dig is just too great.  Whether you are excavating near an electric line, water or sewer pipes, or a fiber optic cable, with traditional equipment and even digging by hand. 

This means that the ability to physically determining on-site the location, nature and depth of underground utility services is critical to reducing the risk and consequences of inadvertent damage during construction.  If it’s underground, and it’s delicate, expensive or dangerous, you should be using vacuum excavation in order to visually confirm the location of the utilities before you dig.