Getting Started With Hydro Excavation

If you need to do some serious excavation, then one of your options is to try out hydro excavation. This technology can offer a variety of benefits, but it isn't suited to every situation. To help you decide whether hydro excavation is right for you, here is a brief introduction to how it works:

What is hydro excavation?

The concept is actually extremely simple, and consists of two primary components.

  • First, a stream of water is directed at the site in question. The water will break down the material, creating a slurry.

  • This slurry is then vacuumed up, effectively clearing out the area in question. The slurry is deposited into a large storage tank, which can then be disposed of elsewhere.

This results in an environmentally-friendly method of removing problematic material. Although it might not seem particularly powerful at first glance, hydro excavation can be used to removed extremely frustrating materials, including densely-packed soil, gravel, and sand.

Why is hydro excavation better than other options?

One of the biggest advantages is how environmentally-friendly the process is. You won't need to use toxic or dangerous materials and you won't need to use a ton of fossil fuels. After using hydro excavation, the main waste product will simply be water mixed with the material that you were excavating, which means that you won't be contaminating the local area.

In some cases, the bigger benefit is the mobility of hydro excavation, since the entire process can be conducted by a single vehicle. These trucks can carry the water, high-pressure hoses that are mounted on the truck, a powerful hydrovac, and a tank for storing the slurry.

How does the process work?

The stream of water is often delivered from the hydro excavation truck to the site via a mounted hose. This hose can be easily moved and adjusted in order to perfectly hit the site, allowing you a great deal of flexibility.

Once the site has been liquefied, then you will use the vacuum that is attached to the same truck. In some cases, the vacuum is attached to the same boom as the water hose. This can allow you to rapidly switch from water to vacuum, greatly speeding up the overall process.

Are there drawbacks?

You might run into problems when you need to move a lot of material, since you might run out of water or storage space for the slurry. In order to accommodate for this, you will either need to rent multiple trucks or set up a configuration that allows the system to draw water from a secondary source and deposit the slurry in a secondary storage container.