Hydro Excavation

 Hydro Excavation is a relatively new, safe alternative for underground construction and environmental remediation.  Hydro Excavation is a non-mechanical and non-destructive process which combines pressurized water and a high flow of moving air to simultaneously excavate and evacuate native soils at a controlled rate. The soil and water slurry are conveyed via an 8” or 6” tube to a truck-mounted debris tank. This process allows for quick, clean and precise evacuations which require less backfill, less labor force, less restoration and less environmental impact than conventional digging methods. A controlled flow water stream allows for surgeon-like accuracy removing only material necessary for repair or inspection. This process allows for minimal material to be removed as compared to the large, less-than-accurate excavator or back hoe bucket.

A Hydro Excavator is a completely self-contained unit which is comprised of several pieces of equipment. The complete package is absolutely necessary to provide the most efficient service to the customer. 

Hydro Excavation, Safety with Precision

Every day, contractors, municipalities and utilities excavate for installation of underground facilities. They also locate existing pipes, cables and lines for maintenance and repairs. The U.S. presently has more than 14 million miles of buried utilities and pipes. Current laws prohibit the use of mechanical means to dig within 18 inches of buried cable and pipe in the U.S. Buried utilities are often mis-marked or the maps are inaccurate. This requires underground facilities to be located by sight, by hand digging or by another means to maximize safety. This is often called “daylighting.” Unfortunately, digging by hand is often time-consuming, and mechanical excavation is inherently risky. With these traditional methods, there are numerous reports of injuries, deaths, explosions and fires from unsafe or poorly planned excavations that strike underground facilities. A single incident may cause personal injury or death, property damage, lost work opportunity, community disruption, ecological damage or an insurance liability claim. The importance of minimizing underground utility strikes and their consequences cannot be denied. Advanced planning, effective use of one-call systems, accurate locating and marking underground facilities and the use of safe-digging practices can all be very effective in reducing underground facility damage. In most states, increased and mandatory use of the state’s one-call system has significantly reduced the incidence of excavation damage. However, damage still occurs. Many of these incidents can be avoided by utilizing hydro excavation.

Benefits of Hydro Excavation

  • Buried natural gas and petroleum pipelines can be uncovered without risk of puncture.
  • Fiber optic cables, telephone lines, water mains and other utilities can be efficiently located without damage.
  • Hydro Excavation causes less surface damage, traffic disruption and other potential digging drawbacks.
  • IHS operators can use Hydro Excavators to dig with precision, offering a less invasive method for slot trenching, potholing or pipe location.
  • Sloping, shoring or benching can be done with little effort.
  • The trenches are cut more precisely (sharper lines).
  • We have the ability to dig easily for trench box placement.
  • Mud and dirt can be easily moved from the site.
  • We can dig up to 15 feet vertically. 
  • We have the ability to dig under sidewalks, fencing and other stationary objects without disturbing them.
  • Less crew members are needed for Hydro Excavation jobs.
  • There is less staging time to set up Hydro Excavation jobs.
  • Because Hydro Excavator’s are self-contained units, there is no need for hoists, trailers or extra equipment at job sites.
  • This method also causes less surface damage, traffic disruption and other potential digging drawbacks.
  • In grassy areas, sod can be replaced within a week where a casual observer would never know a hole was there previously.

IHS’s Hydro-Excavation Services provide a range of industrial, municipal, and pipeline hydro-vac services, including:

•    Line location, installation and repair for utilities 
•    Sewer and pipe rehabilitation 
•    Telecommunications maintenance and repair 
•    Piling and test holes
•    Sign and pole installation
•    Culvert clean outs
•    Waterline maintenance and repair 
•    Spill and pipeline break clean up
•    Repairing steam line under foundation 
•    Drilling mud, contaminated soil and debris removal
•    Applications even in heavy clay soil and hard media
•    Landscaping (i.e. digging holes for new trees and shrubs) with minimal disruption to landscape
•    Long reach applications
•    Sloping, shoring or benching for safe entry into trenches or trench box placement

 

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