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Why Vacuum Excavation is the Safest and Most Cost-effective Method for Potholing

What is Potholing?

Potholing is a construction method that includes vacuum excavation for the purpose of obtaining visual confirmation of utilities and underground obstructions near or crossing the planned bore path. It is a process whereby a small, exploratory hole is dug along the proposed path of underground construction to ensure there's no conflict with existing construction or any other feature that will interfere with the projects.

What is Vacuum Excavation?

Vacuum excavation is a non-destructive method of potholing and is the preferred method by contractors for potholing. Aside from preventing damage to utilities, vacuum excavation is efficient, precise, provides a safer working environment, and is cost-effective.

This type of excavation is carried out by the use of hydro excavation to break up the soil. A vacuum truck then collects the soil.

How is utility potholing done?

When utility potholing, utility crews use a portable vacuum operator. First, test holes, usually measuring 6 to 12 inches deep, are made along the line where they plan to dig or begin construction. They excavate the soil with high-speed suction straight down until the utility line is partially uncovered.

Then, displaced dirt and rock debris is suctioned away from the excavation area through a large hose. It is stored in a holding tank on the truck. Vacuum trucks with different capacity tanks can be used to fit the size of the job. Once the lines have been accurately located, accumulated wet or dry soil, which was removed during the digging process, can be replaced as backfill.

Benefits of Potholing with Vacuum Excavation

Using a backhoe to dig subsurface utilities is dangerous, time-consuming, and unreliable. The optimal choice for digging underground to locate a buried utility is by using a high-powered vacuum excavating machine. Over the years, more and more construction projects have opted for hydro-vacuum excavation. Essentially using a hydrovac, or hydro excavator, unit to dig up the earth using pressurized water to liquefy the soil and then using a vacuum truck to remove the debris into a tank. Using hydrovac units is a massive step that Cloud 9 Services has taken in implementing a better excavation process overall. Here are a few benefits from utilizing this method :

  1. It offers an eco-friendly, precise, and clean method of removing soil. Hydrovac units allow for a non-destructive and accurate process to excavate the soil and locate underground utilities. Because there is neither mechanical extraction involved nor trenches lined with contaminated soil, there is little to no chance of runoff to sewers and waterway systems. It also reduces excavation site mess and congestion.

  2. It gets the job completed much faster. Compared to the old-fashioned and laborious way of soil removal, using the hydrovac process required less effort. In fact, it completes the digging process 10 times quicker than a shovel.

  3. It's safer than traditional machinery. Hydrovac excavations are non-mechanic, making them effective in reducing construction mishaps brought about by machinery.

  4. It serves in a variety of applications in many sectors. A hydrovac machine is used in :

    1. Directional drilling

    2. Utility locating

    3. Daylighting

    4. Coring

    5. Potholing

  5. Because it is proven faster, more efficient, and more productive than conventional equipment with minimal risk of underground damage or work hazard, hydrovac excavations make for a cost-effective option.

Always Hire a Professional

We here at Cloud 9 Services, Inc. are here for all your potholing needs. If you are in need of utility potholing or any other service that we offer, please give us a call, 407-481-2750, and one of our experienced contractors would be happy to assist you.

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