What is Hydro Excavation and How Does It Work?

Hydro excavation is the removal of substances by using water. The technology is not new, hydropower has been used since the 19th century to generate electricity. Excavating with water is simply an extension of the principle. 

How Hydro Excavation Works

Hydro excavation is a process where water is injected into the ground under high pressure through dedicated hosepipes. The process is also referred to as vacuum excavation, hydro-trenching, and non-invasive digging.

 The water is carefully targeted to specific areas under the ground. For example, it can be targeted at the area around underground sewer pipes. The high pressure dislodges the debris that has built up around any object. 

At the same time, a vacuum pipe is inserted with the water hose and literally sucks the debris out. In this way it can be used to clean areas underground, ensuring things like sewer pipes are not under excess pressure. 

By maintaining underground utilities in this way the cost of maintenance is reduced and the lifespan of the pipes extended. 

Hydro excavation can also create holes in trenches in the ground. The water is pumped into the ground and turns the soil into a slurry. This can then be sucked up the massive vacuum pipes, allowing a hole to be created through the use of suction and water. 

It’s possible to dig as deep as seventy feet with this technique. The excavated soil is put into trucks and disposed of elsewhere.

The benefits of Hydro Excavation

The primary benefit of this approach is that it doesn’t disturb the surrounding area. It is much less invasive than traditional digging methods and can work on almost any material. That makes it a great option when hoes need to be created in cities. Hydro excavation allows this to be done with the minimum of fuss and disruption.

What may surprise you is that this approach is often cheaper than traditional options. Minimal staff is needed to run the machines and truck drivers can dispose of the soil wherever they like. It’s generally faster which reduces the cost further.

Of course, purchasing the equipment is more expensive than the traditional excavation option.

You should also note that hydro excavation is generally considered safer than traditional methods. The area being dug is carefully targeted, reducing the risk of landslides and fewer staff are needed around the hole, again reducing the risk.

But, perhaps most important is the fact that it protects the existing underground infrastructure. Again, this is particularly important in cities.

Environmental Impact

You should note that while the equipment does rely on traditional motors the environmental impact of a hydro excavation is less than the traditional methods. In particular, the damage to the surrounding area and habitat is minimized, ensuring more animals can continue to live in peace where they are.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking for slot trenching, a simple hole, the removal of debris, or need to set a new pole, hydro excavation offers an affordable and simple solution. You need to consider it. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.