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What is Hydrovac Excavation?

Our Edmonton residents know that our winters can be unforgiving. Frozen ground and cold temperatures mean finding an alternate solution to traditional excavation methods. Cold weather might be coming, but the digging projects don’t stop! 

Enter hydrovac excavation, the sleeker and less pushy cousin of traditional mechanical excavation technology. 

Want to learn more? Keep reading for a detailed overview of what hydrovac excavation is, common projects it’s used for, and its many benefits!

Hydrovac Excavation – An Overview

 

Hydrovac excavation is a less invasive method of removing soil, locating underground infrastructure (such as pipes and utility lines), and removing debris with highly pressurized water.

The pressurized water softens and mixes with the soil, which creates a malleable slurry that is fed through a large hose into a receptacle – usually a large tank located on the back of a truck.  

Aside from the truck that the hydrovac equipment is housed on, the process does not involve any moving mechanical parts – making the procedure safe for workers and anyone passing by the operation. 

How it works:

 

Imagine the pressurized water functioning as a large knife. The initial stages of hydrovac excavation involve breaking up the soil with the water ‘knives’ to soften the ground. The vacuum function quickly removes the slurry created for easy access to the earth below. 

In cases where the specific goal is digging up underground lines or other infrastructure, the process is commonly referred to as daylighting. 

As you can imagine, this process is quite a bit more streamlined and accurate than traditional methods of excavation. 

Take a look at some tasks that hydrovac excavation is commonly used for:

  • Debris removal
  • Daylighting or uncovering buried utility lines or infrastructure
  • Sign and pole install
  • Pothole repair
  • Ground and slot trenching
  • Sewer repair and maintenance

Benefits of Hydrovac Excavation

 

The key benefit of this method of excavation is its flexibility. Most hydrovac equipment includes hot water heaters to keep the water warm. This is ideal for frozen ground, which makes hydrovac excavation in Edmonton during those notorious frigid months a breeze! 

Other notable benefits of hydrovac include:

  • A high degree of accuracy. Operators, for the most part, complete the job by using a small handheld wand. The wand is perfect for tough-to-reach areas and smaller jobs.
  • Easy clean-up. Consider traditional excavation methods. Where does the leftover debris go? Not anywhere useful! These excavation methods require leftover debris laboriously loaded into a separate truck or left to the side for later clean-up – neither option is all that convenient or efficient.
  • Low intensity. Why tear up a road unnecessarily? Hydrovac excavation cuts large construction jobs in half and reduces the overall cost of the project as well as the cost of site repair after debris removal. 
  • Safer than traditional excavation methods. The absence of sharp equipment or heavy machinery makes hydrovac excavation much safer for operators and passersby. 

Additionally, the high degree of accuracy limits accidental damage to neighbouring infrastructure. If you are a contractor, this may have a positive impact on your commercial insurance premiums. Of course, changes to your equipment should always be discussed with your broker or insurance company first.  

IVIS Construction – Trusted Hydrovac Excavation Experts

 

Whether you need a pothole repair or sewer debris removal – the team at IVIS Construction has you covered.

Our team proudly operates a sizable fleet of VAC-CON Combo units. We’re well equipped for any job from municipal to commercial. 

IVIS Construction is ready to help! Whether you have questions, need a quote, or just need some advice, we’re only a click away. Call us at (780) 476-2626 or fill out our convenient online contact form!