Hydro Excavation5 Most Common Uses of Hydro Vacuum Excavation

12 February 2021by support

Hydro vacuum excavation is one of the most efficient excavation methods out there. Originally developed in frigid Canada, hydro vacuum excavation allows contractors to efficiently manipulate the ground with the use of high-pressure water and an air vacuum.

In Australia, this method of excavation is also very common and is often used to loosen and cut up the soil. Because of this, there are several uses for hydro vacuum excavation, all of which can achieve different outcomes.

So what are some of the common uses of hydro vacuum excavation? If this is something you wish to learn more about, feel free to read our article below.

1). Potholing Or Daylighting

Hydro vacuum excavation can be used for potholing or daylighting. While potholing is effective for installing signs, telephone and utility poles, fences, and other needs for setting a post in the ground daylighting is the process by which underground pipes or utilities are, essentially, exposed to daylight as the name suggests. Daylighting can also determine the positions of utility lines, including both their vertical and horizontal orientations.

Hydro vacuum excavation is more advantageous than traditional excavation methods for potholing because it does not cause any damage. Traditional methods are often destructive and mechanical, which can cause damage when uncovering underground lines. 

Meanwhile, hydro vacuum excavation can safely displace dirt and debris by turning it into a slurry, suctioning it away, and storing it in a tank. 

5 Most Common Uses Hydro Vacuum Excavation

2). Slot Trenching

Slot trenching is the process of digging narrow trenches in order to install pipes, cables, posts, signs, and other underground utilities. Mechanical methods of slot trenching are not only time-consuming but dangerous as it can damage the utilities.

Conventional slot trenching methods also cannot dig narrow enough trenches, requiring further backfilling and increasing the costs of labour and material. 

On the other hand, hydro vacuum excavation can dig thin, accurate trenches that need minimal backfilling. The job is done much more quickly and much more accurately. It is also not labour intensive and it does not involve heavy equipment that can lead to safety risks for labourers or members of the public.

Additionally, hydro vacuum excavation can prevent service interruptions from occurring as it can repair existing lines with minimal disturbance and damage. 

With hydro vacuum excavation, it is much easier to dig holes of different specifications, minimise costs for backfill, concrete encasement, and asphalt patching and maintenance.

3). Debris Removal

For debris removal, hydro vacuum excavation is an efficient technique. Since hydro vacuum excavation is highly accurate, it is capable of clearing out structures and areas of debris with highly pressurised water and a vacuum. In this process, the pressurised water is blasted into the ground where the ground turns into a slurry and is sucked up by the vacuum. 

Places that typically require debris removal may range from construction and demolition sites, areas of vegetation, or areas in which concrete or asphalt needs to be hauled away. Hydro vacuum excavation is ideal for small, tight, and sensitive areas that are in need of non-destructive debris removal.

5 Most Common Uses Hydro Vacuum Excavation

4). Remote Digging

One of the most important advantages of hydro vacuum excavation is that it can be used for remote digging. This is especially helpful when fibre optic cables, telephone lines, and other utility lines need to be repaired or excavated.

Since hydro vacuum excavation uses an extendable hose, the unit can be located some distance away from the excavation point if it is situated in a tight or congested space. This makes it much more convenient by minimising impact and restoration requirements for the site itself. 

5). Digging Pilings And Pole Holes

Hydro vacuum excavation can be used for digging piling and pole holes. Piling hole excavation involves digging holes of varying diameters and depths suited for all types of pilings. 

If there are any underground utilities that are uncovered in the process, they will not be damaged as they would be in traditional excavation practices. This means that there will be no need for extra equipment for damaged utilities. 


While this article explains five uses of hydro vacuum excavation, there are still many more applications of this highly accurate excavation method. There is such a wide range of applications because it is a highly accurate technique that is non-destructive, non-mechanical, and very convenient. 


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