Hydro Excavation: What You Need To Know

Hydro excavation, also known as vacuum excavation, is a procedure that uses pressurised water and a vacuum system to swiftly remove huge volumes of dirt from an excavated area. Traditional excavation techniques require the use of heavy machinery or, for more delicate excavations, a dig team physically breaking up and removing earth with shovels. However, these classic techniques have drawbacks that make them less suitable in many applications. 

For one reason, physical digging is time-consuming and exhausting. Moreover, picks, shovels, and other metal hand tools are sharp devices that might accidentally hit and destroy subsurface infrastructure, such as water lines, electric utility service lines, and gas lines, in the dig area. Heavy mechanical digging is quicker than hand digging, but it also has the potential to do further damage to subsurface utility service connections.

This article will offer a look into hydro excavation, including how the process works, its advantages and uses, and some facts about hydro excavation.

How Does A Hydro Excavation Work?

Hydro excavation makes use of vacuumed air and pressurised water. The high-tension water tube and the vacuum hose are the two main parts that hydrovac trucks need in order to perform vacuum excavation. The soil and debris are transferred from the trucks’ big volume storage tank in addition to these other features. Spraying the soil’s surface with highly pressurised water causes the soil’s particles to become loose and convert into a slurry. The liquid solution is sucked up using an air vacuum hose, gradually revealing the subsurface pipelines and services. 

Fan compressor air vacuums are used by most hydrovac trucks. This device can flow a lot of air, allowing for quicker excavation. The technology is also portable, simple to use, and reasonably priced. For excavation, strong hydrovac vehicles have a depth limit of 60 feet. The vehicles also have a 600-foot digging range. Even mud and icy surfaces may be handled by hydrovac vehicles.

The Benefits Of Using A Hydro Excavation 

The benefits of vacuum excavation include:

  • Lower danger of damage: Other digging techniques include using pointed metal equipment that can pierce pipelines and cause more serious issues. Because metal tools are not used in hydro excavation, the risk is reduced.
  • Less disruption: Hydro excavation is an efficient technique that causes minimal commotion in the vicinity of the excavation site, allowing you to finish the job faster.
  • Safety for labourers: When using conventional digging techniques, a person must be in the hole to direct the machinery. Vacuum excavation allows for the separation of employees and equipment from the dig site.
  • More cost-effective: Vacuum excavation is more cost-effective since it requires less labour and cleanup than other methods, which saves you money overall.
  • Completing tasks is simple: Digging the old-fashioned way takes a lot of time and effort. The most modern techniques for excavating the soil are hydrovacs. As a result, their procedures are better than the conventional approach of digging the dirt. They are capable of carrying out a variety of tasks, including slot trenching, daylighting, plumbing work, directional drilling, civil and urban construction, utility finding, and potholing. 
  • More efficient and secure: Vacuum excavation provides a more efficient and secure alternative to conventional techniques. Due to hydro excavation’s efficiency, oil companies and gas plants frequently utilise hydro vacuums for their operations.

Uses Of Hydro Excavation 

Through technology, digging holes is made with great precision. With this comes the many applications of vacuum excavation that have been found to be effective when used in the following procedures:

  1. Soil excavation for cable and pipeline installation
  2. Easily remove dirt
  3. Create a stacking hole for a variety of piling types
  4. Digs in colder seasons 
  5. Excavate in confined locations because the hydrovac truck requires less space to function
  6. Locating subsurface utilities using daylight and a pothole
  7. Renovate sewers and pipelines

Three Important Facts About Hydro Excavation

You may not know everything there is to know about hydro excavation, so here are three essential facts:

1.Hydro Excavation Is An Effective Method

Perhaps the most awe-inspiring feature of hydro excavation is the rapidity with which the powerful water streams affect the region and remove soil. Hydro excavation may reduce the digging time from days to hours.

In addition to saving time, hydro excavation is effective because it can deal with a range of soil types, from clay to sand. Furthermore, hydro excavation is effective even in frigid weather.

2. Hydro Excavation Is A Non-Destructive Procedure.

As stated before, hydro excavation is precise and will not harm the surrounding environment. Hydro excavation also prevents subterranean damage. High pressure water, unlike claws or metal shovels, does not harm pipelines, coaxial cables, or other underground equipment. This is especially important if you don’t know what’s underneath the soil.

3. Hydro-Excavation Is Accurate.

Hydro excavation employs high-pressure water and suction to make apertures in the ground. The resultant soil and water combination is sucked into a holding tank.

Since the high-pressure water is powerful and concentrated, the resulting excavation is very accurate. Cats and backhoes must travel around dirt heaps. This big machinery may devastate the nearby environment.


Hydro excavation is an excavation technique that utilises highly pressurised water and a vacuum. The hydro excavation truck uses high-pressure water to transform the soil into a slurry, which is then sucked up by a vacuum and stored in a rubbish tank.

Hydro excavation is a precise, nondestructive, and efficient excavation technique that provides several additional benefits and advantages. Through hydro excavation, you will be able to complete the task in a more reasonable amount of time, avoid unnecessary damage, and complete an excavation operation that is exact and correct.