In honor of National Safe Digging Month – we’re highlighting vacuum excavation as one of the safest ways to uncover underground utilities. We made digging safer! Watch this video as Vac-Tron safely and efficiently exposes underground utility lines for the City of Leesburg.
What is Vacuum Excavation?
Vacuum excavation is the process of digging by using high-pressure water or air to soften the soil and then utilizing vacuum to remove the soil and debris. Vacuum Excavation, also known as suction excavation or soft dig, is accepted as being safer than hand digging within the tolerance zone around underground utilities. Read More
Vacuum Excavation allows for workers on site to stay safe on the surface and helps eliminate accidental line damage and trench cave-ins. With vacuum excavation, companies and municipalities have an alternative to hand digging and a much safer way to expose utilities. Vacuum Excavation is the best method of identifying the accurate depth and location of an underground utility.
- Why use vacuum excavation?
- What is the difference between Hydro and Air Excavation?
- What are some other uses or applications for this equipment?
- Should Vacuum Excavation be required by law?
- What are the different types of vacuum excavation equipment?
- How to compare and evaluate different vacuum excavators?
- What to look for when purchasing vacuum excavation equipment?
- What is new in vacuum excavation equipment?
- How do I implement vacuum excavation as a policy and best practice in my company or organization?
- What can I do to promote vacuum excavation?
Why use vacuum excavation?
Vacuum excavation virtually eliminates the danger of damaging underground utilities, while mechanical digging with hand tools or backhoes can cause damage to those utilities.
Vacuum excavation is less invasive than traditional methods of digging. It also offers lower cost with a higher level of precision with less surface restoration needed.
There are costs involved when striking an underground utility so by using vacuum excavation instead, you could eventually save cost and save lives within your company and in the community.
What is the difference between Hydro and Air Excavation?
Hydro Excavation is the process of safely uncovering underground utilities utilizing high-pressure water along with high-speed vacuum. Hydro excavation is faster than air excavation and is considered the most efficient type of vacuum excavation. Hydro excavation does not allow for the re-use of the spoil material for refilling the hole.
Air or Dry Excavation is the process of using compressed air to disturb the earth’s soil which is then vacuumed up into a debris tank. Air excavation can be slower than hydro excavation, but it does allow the debris to be used back into the whole.
Should vacuum excavation be required by law?
There are companies that already require it. There are also states that require soft digging because of the safety benefits. Utilizing a vacuum excavator reduces the chance of damaging underground utilities.
What are the different types of equipment?
There are trailer-mounted units that can be towed behind a truck, so when you are not using it, it can be left in your yard. There are also truck mounted units. The available tow package on truck units allows towing of other equipment to the job site to help with efficiency. See the full line of Vac-Tron Vacuum Excavation Equipment Here.
How to compare and evaluate different vacuum excavators?
You want to make sure you buy quality units that are tough and durable to handle the load. Because when you are excavating you have a live load in your tank and you want to make sure the trailer or the truck is set up to handle that load. Vac-Tron units are built from start to finish including the trailer which consists of sturdy I beam construction. There is no tougher trailer on the market. All are American Made. You also want to look at the filtration system.
What to look for when purchasing equipment?
The first thing you look at it is capacity, what type of capacities do you need. Also, what type of performance are you requiring. We have all different sizes, small units from 150-gallons to 2,000-gallon capacity.
What is new in vacuum excavation equipment?
There is new technology happening with the solidification of the material because its all about what do you do with that material after you excavated it. Contact us for more information here.
What are some other uses or applications for this equipment?
There are many different types of applications in the cleanup industry, especially in industrial plants. Many times, these plants are already using a vacuum of some sort or they have other companies coming in and doing it for them. Now, these industrial plants are finding out that they can buy a smaller trailer mounted unit or truck mounted unit and have it available to them at all times and it’s more efficient. See More Vac-Tron Vacuum Excavator Applications Here.
How do I implement vacuum excavation as a policy and best practice in my company or organization?
There is a website you can go to vacuumexcavation.com and it gives you the policies and things you can implement into your company. It also helps you write that into your company. Once you do; you are safer, your employees are safer, and your profits are safer because you are less likely to strike underground utilities and damage them like you would if you are not using vacuum excavation.
What can I do to promote safe digging practices at my workplace?
There are different organizations that promote vacuum excavation, they all have conventions and seminars that promote safe digging where you and your employees or employer can receive further education on the topic. Everyone should get involved at some level. Contact us for more information here.
SignCrafters of Central Florida used a Vac-Tron LP533SDT to safely excavate a 3 foot diameter hole by 8 feet deep for a concrete footer. They were installing a sign for a new medical center in Leesburg, FL. The excavation took 40 minutes including setup and breakdown.
When digging a 3 to 4′ foot wide by 8′ foot deep hole for a sign post, using a vacuum excavator provides a safe and more efficient alternative to traditional digging. Vacuum excavation provides efficiency by storing all sand and debris into a storage tank for easy dumping and filling.
“A utility friendly way to dig.” Says Dennis Martin, President of Sign Crafters of Central Florida. “When digging for posts using a VAC-TRON, you don’t have to worry about breaking utilities and slowing down your project.”
Save time, increase productivity, and eliminate the chance of damaging underground utilities. Your crew running a vacuum excavator by VAC-TRON will increase job completions in a given day. Municipalities are using vacuum excavation for utility locates as well as working around roots for meter readings. The same logic applies when digging holes for commercial signs.
A recommended unit is the all new Competitive Vac (CV) unit. Hand built in the USA from the ground up including the durable trailer assembly. The low profile trailer keeps the components of the unit easily accessible while making the unit safe to tow.
- Configuration Available Skid, Trailer, or Truck Mounted
- Engine 27 hp Kohler EFI gas engine
- Vacuum Pump 580 cfm vacuum pump
- Vacuum Hose 3” UV protected hose is standard, 4” option is available
- Debris Tank 500, 800, or 1200-gallon debris tank
- Rear Door Hydraulically operated full open and locked rear door with auto-engage safety latch
- Water Tank Capacity Two (2) 100-gallon water tanks with optional 300 and 400 gallons
- Water Pump 3,500 psi @ 4 gpm water pump pressure
- Reverse Pressureto off-load liquids and dislodge debris in hose is optional
- WeightCV 570 GT empty weight with trailer 5,360 lbs. CV 870 GT empty weight with trailer 6,140 lbs. CV 1270 GT empty weight with trailer
Schedule a time below to have your team demo a unit and test the latest technologies for safer and more efficient digging.
The City Director came to Phillip Clark, Water Supervisor for Tavares, FL – America’s Seaplane City, with details of a surplus in the budget. “What can we add to our fleet to work smarter and not harder? What out there in the industry is new and innovative?” He asked.
Mr. Clark is constantly researching and reading about what is innovative and groundbreaking. He says that there isn’t much at times to be found, but he saw a VAC-TRON at work on the side of the road and had to look into it. He scheduled a demo and saw how productivity would greatly improve with the use of a low profile, trailered vacuum excavator. So it was presented to council to be able to add an invaluable machine to their fleet. Council agreed and approved.
One of the many tasks his crews has to handle is checking meter boxes and cleaning around the roots and debris that collects inside. This routine usually takes an entire day to handle just six or so boxes. Due to the sprawling roots, shovels are used to dig and it has been an inefficient process. The typical hole is 2 ft by 30 inches.
Another task is repairing leaks in water lines and removing the water and dirt to allow for a clear area to work. A sample that Mr. Clark shared was a recent water break under a concrete driveway that had to be broken away to reveal the repair project. It was a 2 inch water break 3 feet under driveway 2 ft of concrete.
As for all cities – locating underground utilities is a constant project where in the past typically a probe is used. Finding these lines with a probe can be dangerous and time consuming.
-Up to a day to clean out and view a half a dozen meter boxes
-Exposure to bugs, snakes, and other elements
-Excavation for small leaks, remove water to find the source of the leak
-Safety when digging around gas and power lines
To upgrade from traditional methods of digging to a VAC-TRON increased efficiency. Adding a trailered vacuum excavator by VAC-TRON proved to be a well-made investment. The Low Profile Series has full potholing or daylighting and clean up capabilities with a 300-gallon debris capacity, manual spin-wheel door and two (2) 50-gallon water tanks.
-Easily remove water and dirt for a more productive way to repair water line breaks
-Works as a mobile pressure cleaner as well without having to have a power source
-Will equate in to quick payback for the city, per Mr. Clark
-Keeps the team away from reptiles and insects
-A much safer way to dig
-Using a VAC-TRON only took 30 minutes to clean the same 6 boxes that used to take all day
Vac-Tron’s founder set out to create a safer way to dig over 20 years ago. Since then, our company has been developing equipment and patented ideas that save lives. Using Vac-Tron Equipment also helps with environmental protection and cleanup, making less contaminated and safer areas.
There is new legislation being introduced in municipalities, requiring the use a vacuum excavator when digging for certain projects, i.e. utility locate. VacuumExcavation.com shares a New Underground Utility Protection Policy and recommends adding to job specs, contract, and adopt as policy.
(Sample of Document)
Part 2 – GENERAL
A. All utilities within 5 feet of a work zone MUST be found and seen prior to the start of any excavation operations.
B. Potholing shall be performed to verify the location and depth of the existing utilities.
C. Backhoes, trenchers or other type of mechanical equipment shall not be used to find underground utilities within 5 feet of a work zone.
D. At no time shall picks, round pointed shovels, or any other type of sharp tool be used for locating utilities.
E. Only square blunt non-sharp tools may be used for hand digging.
F. Vacuum Excavation shall be allowed with the use of high pressure water (up to 4,000 psi) with an approved non-cutting nozzle. Zero degree nozzles are not allowed.
G. Vacuum Excavation may also be allowed utilizing high pressure air (with dust containment system) or dry vacuum.
Remember that April is National Safe Digging month. Safety is our true mission and we have succeeded in helping companies dig safer while greatly increasing productivity.
Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged, but thanks to vacuum excavation, the number of accidents is lessening. Damaging utilities can be costly and result in environmental contamination, project delays, and even death. In order to stop these accidents, safe digging as mentioned above and by vacuumexavation.com should be planned.
Vac-Tron is a proud founding sponsor of this annual event for crews to learn the best practices of horizontal directional drilling.
Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction and Benjamin Media, Inc. will host the third annual Horizontal Directional Drilling Academy Feb. 13-14, 2017. Horizontal directional drilling experts will deliver presentations during a two-day intensive course designed to equip attendees with knowledge of horizontal directional drilling pre-construction, design and material selection, construction and operations.
The LP Series will be on display out front for questions and a hands-on overview of the vacuum excavator.
Cities are digging safer and more efficiently by arming departments with vacuum excavators. In the rarest of cases, fire departments are using vacuum excavators for trench collapse rescues. The more common use though is the need for potholing, sewer jetting, storm drain cleaning, and many other applications.
Some regulatory agencies require potholing when a path of a bore trench closely parallels or crosses existing underground utilities. Cities are taking the necessary step in getting access to vacuum excavation equipment. In a small city meeting recently in Kansas, permission was granted to the Water Department to purchase a VAC-TRON LP573SGT.
“Basically, Wally’s been after me to get one of these since I’ve been here, but with all the underground utilities going in and all the fiber optics, it’s become a necessity for us to pothole and find the phone lines, gas lines, before we even start digging our own main lines,” Water Department Director Calvin Burke said. “So what we’re looking at is a combination pothole VAC-TRON machine. It’s a high pressure washer where you take the wand, and you work it and then work the back part, stick the hose on the nozzle, and just suck the dirt right out of the hole.” – leaderandtimes.com
Tri-County Electric Cooperative, a cooperative utility based in Hooker, Okla., recently put in service a truck-mounted, large vacuum excavator model.
“Being on a truck provides good mobility,” said Rick Wayman, manager of construction. “We do a lot of potholing with the machine. Many city areas we work in are full of utilities, and vacuum excavation can quickly make potholes without damaging the lines being located.
“We also are using it to dig piers for light poles,” Wayman said. “Locations where poles are being set also are in areas full of utilities, and without the new machine, they would have to be dug by hand—there are too many utilities to use mechanical equipment.” – ecmag.com
The Public Works crew in the image below in the City of Temecula, California uses a Vac-Tron PMD 500 GT vacuum truck with a 500-gallon debris tank, 225-gallon freshwater tank, and a jetter putting out 15 GPM/2,200 psi. They capture cleaning water at the outlet of the basin box to keep it from reaching the creeks.
To learn more about vacuum excavation and adding a Vac-Tron to your fleet, go here to schedule a demo in your area.
A gas line strike with traditional excavation is one of the worst disasters a project can incur and happens too often. Vacuum excavation is a much safer alternative when digging around gas lines.
The cost of damaging utilities can range from environmental contamination, project delays, lost time and productivity and even more tragically, death.
Because vacuum excavation is so safe and precise, it is even being used for trench rescues due to the speed and safety of removing the soil from around a victim.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS INFORMATIVE VIDEO WITH YOUR TEAM. Here is the direct YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEEV_-ztKcs
By: Brian Showley, Vice President ([email protected])
Getting to Work: Before you start any excavation project, don’t forget to call the local One-Call system in your area. You should know the purpose of all the controls, gauges and indicators on your vacuum excavator. Know the load capacity, braking and steering characteristics, turning radius and operating clearances. Check and use all available protective and safety devices. Before you begin your workday, you should inspect your vacuum excavator and have all systems in good operational condition. Do not operate the machine until all deficiencies are corrected. To ensure safety while using a vacuum excavator, be sure to use proper protective gear. This usually includes rubber steel-toe boots, safety glasses, face shield, hard hat, gloves, safety vest and hearing protection.
Favorite Unit: Vac-Tron’s HTV (Hydro Truck Vac) PTO series has debris tanks ranging from 300 to 1,500 gal in size. The power take off of the truck drives positive displacement vacuum blowers that produce 1,000 to 3,000 cfm. These units are standard with a high-pressure water system, full hydraulic rear claw door, reverse pressure and the patented “Big Red” filter housing that cleans the air down to 00.5 microns before it passes back through the vacuum pump. Air compressors and hydraulic booms are also available on most of the HTV series units.
April is National Safe Digging month and every year many companies, including 811, promote the importance of having a plan before you begin digging.
Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged and the growing trend in preventing these accidents is utilizing vacuum excavation. There are many instances when vacuum excavation is the safest and most productive option for digging compared to traditional excavation.
Saving Utility Lines
Digging around lines using vacuum excavation is less intrusive to the surrounding dig site and provides a cleaner hole. It exposes the piping without abrasive force compared to a front-end loader or shovel. Air or hydro vacuum excavation dramatically reduces the chance of a cut or break into the utility lines which helps with cost, safety, and time.
Specifically those areas where the bore route will cross other utilities, and especially when the bore route crosses natural gas lines buried within the road or other paved areas is another example of when vacuum excavation is the best option. A gas line strike with traditional excavation is one of the worst disasters a project can incur and happens too often. Vacuum excavation is a much safer alternative when digging around gas lines.
The cost of damaging utilities can range from environmental contamination, project delays, lost time and productivity and even more tragically, death.
Because vacuum excavation is so safe and precise, it is even being used for trench rescues due to the speed and safety of removing the soil from around a victim.
Be sure to use proper protective gear while using a vacuum excavator. This usually includes rubber steel-toe boots, safety glasses, face shield, hard hat, gloves, safety vest and hearing protection.
Vacuum excavation is used worldwide and has quickly grown into the best method for safer digging. Vac-Tron Equipment is the industry leader in vacuum excavation and has worked tirelessly to gather industry research and data in order to make safety a priority. For over 20 years, Vac-Tron equipment has developed innovative, reliable vacuum excavation equipment.
To learn more about adding a vacuum excavator to your fleet, request a demo at vactron.com/request-a-demo or call 1-888-822-8766.
Fire Departments are starting to see that using a vacuum excavator can help with a much faster rescue for trench collapses since every minute is critical. Using vacuum excavation can save at least 80% of time compared to traditional digging. Before, rescuers have been using 5 gallon buckets, garden and army shovels. This process is obviously slow, and a rescue can take 4-1o hours.
As much as 65% of all trench cave-in deaths are of would-be rescuers. Vacuum Excavation provides a safer option as rescue crews can also be kept out of harm’s way in case of a secondary collapse. Trench collapses are one of the most time consuming rescue operations as well as the most labor intensive.
A vacuum excavator plays a crucial role in breaking up and removing soil from around the victim in a timely manner. Using air excavation can help break up the soil as the vacuum truck works to suck up the debris. Every cubic foot of dirt can weigh up to 145 pounds. Getting the debris removed in a safe and efficient manner can literally mean the difference between life or death.
Recently, a Captain with the Toronto Fire Department told Canadian Underground Infrastructure, “Vacuum trucks are a definite asset to have.”
There was another story in the news recently highlighting the danger of unsafe excavation and also highlighting the much needed changes with how to locate and dig around gas and utility lines. In Fresno County, CA, county workers were using a front end loader when a gas line was struck by the equipment, killing one man and injuring a dozen workers. It’s no question that if the line was properly located and a vacuum excavator was used to dig around the line then a life could have been spared. States and cities should require a vacuum excavator on all underground projects.
Vacuum excavation is defined as the process of using air or high pressure water to break apart soil and then debris is sucked up into the tanks. This method of excavation is commonly referred to as soft excavation technology and accepted as being much safer than traditional digging around underground facilities.
Vac-Tron Equipment has been the industry leader for vacuum excavation for over 20 years, innovating new ways of safer digging for companies globally. It is much less invasive in nature when compared to other traditional methods of excavating, has higher precision, and is leading to decreases in the amount of disposal of materials and accordingly much less surface restoration.
Vac-Tron’s equipment is made in the USA and distributed by over 40 nationwide dealers and 110 dealer outlets with new dealers being added internationally.
Vac-Tron recently announced 12 new innovations for vacuum excavation at the ICUEE show this year in Louisville, KY that will continue to keep the industry pushing ahead for safer digging. Here are a few highlights of new vacuum excavation innovations that were announced.
Vac-Tron HTV 573 PTO Truck: A NEW series of PTO truck driven systems available on Ford or Freightliner chassis. The full line of the HTV (Hydro Truck Vac) series has debris tanks ranging from 300 gallon to 1500 gallon in size. The Power Take Off of the truck drives positive displacement vacuum blowers that produce 1,000 to 3,000 CFM. These units are standard with a high pressure water system, full hydraulic rear door, reverse pressure, and the patented “Big Red” filter housing that cleans the air down to 00.5 microns (best in the industry) before it passes back through the vacuum pump. Air compressors and Hydraulic booms are also available on most of the HTV series units. Patent Pending.
Vac-Tron MT Series (Mud Trucks): New Series with 6 debris tanks sizes of 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500 and 4000 gallons. Over 45 degree hydraulic tilt, full open hydraulic locking door, PTO powered rotary vane vacuum pump, 25 inches of mercury, and reverse pressure, your chassis or ours. Great for cleaning up drill mud slurry.
A Wobble Head PROTOTYPE which is an innovative digging tool. Use a 6″ hose head to dig a 24″ hold by swiveling the end of the hose. Patent Pending.
For more information about safer digging with vacuum excavation, contact us at 888-822-8766 or schedule a live demo.
Every year there are numerous injuries and explosions that occur due to unsafe and poorly planned excavation that strike facilities, and many of these incidents can be avoided or minimized by utilizing vacuum excavation.The right excavation unit for the right job; the motto that stays true with Vac-Tron equipment. There are dozens of different wet/dry uses that make Vac-Tron the choice of water-boring contractors, utility companies, water, wastewater, and stormwater departments, military installation, municipalities, roofing companies, emergency and environmental cleanup teams just to name a few.There are thirteen different applications that Vac-tron uses in order to fulfill the needs of several industries. Some of the most popular are: lateral clean out, clean out, utility location, animal waste and maintenance, and oil spill cleanup.
Vac-Tron in Action
Different applications apply to different jobs. Below are five applications and their modes of equipment use.
- Lateral clean out – Using a Vac-Tron Mini Combo series, this will allow manholes to be cleaned out in seconds by high power vacuums
- Clean Out – The Vac-Tron Equipment LP and Mini Combo allow for public workers to
remove wet/dry material from catastrophes, such as floods and road spills
- Utility Location – The Wet/Dry Industrial Vacuum Excavation System uses jets of water to loosen soil instead of heavy machinery to lessen the damage to underground facilities
- Animal Waste and Maintenance – Vac-tron Equipment can be used in various cleanups involving animals by using high pressure water to clean ponds, stalls, cages, etc. This allows for a safe removal of waste to ensure the health of the animals.
- Oil Spill Cleanup – “The Beach Vac” has been used to help the recent oil spills by removing contaminants from the ocean floor without harming wildlife
These applications are the safer way to cleanup and remove unwanted waste while saving industries time and money.
Preserving the Ocean One Suck at a Time
Catastrophes can happen without warning or without the proper tools to assist. One of the most recent events happened only five years ago, the BP Oil spill, harming thousands of animals and endangering other wildlife hundreds of miles from the incident.Vacuum excavation was used in the cleanup process to clear oil from the surface of the ocean water and also remove tar balls that washed ashore. This process helps protect surrounding vegetation and doesn’t bring further harm to the animals.Vac-Tron specifically developed a series of models to help with the cleanup and to help with large barges and contaminated beaches.
Benefits to Vacuum Excavation in Industrial Plants
Industrial plants are looking at more ways to clean out their systems more quickly and safely. Manual labor can be very intensive and time consuming for the laborers. Heavy machinery poses safety risks to laborers and also causes damage to the surroundings. Hydro excavation eliminates these issues. It is a non-mechanical, eco-friendly and safe method. This means that costs are cut down and the service provided is better and more efficient.Hydro excavation allows for a more accurate and precise job done, so damages to utilities and other equipment are lessened considerably. Hydro and Vacuum excavation also remove blockages and restore industrial plants to their full capabilities and remove the need for costly downtime.
The Question is: Why Not?
Why not try something different? Why not switch to a safer mode of cleaning? More companies are turning to excavation, including but not limited to: utility companies, pipelines, large pit exposure, power plants, manufacturing plants, railroad facilities, etc. More companies are looking for an alternative because the old way is just that… the old way. It is becoming less and less effective to do work manually because of the intensive labor on workers, the cost to the company, and the damage to the infrastructure. Try a new way, a better way… the Vac-Tron way.
According to Issue Spotlight,
Damage prevention training helps to build a culture of prevention within every organization that touches the excavation lifecycle. Education and communication are two tools needed when properly using vacuum excavation to clean a utility site.No one wakes up in the morning saying they are going to cut a utility line today, but it could happen without the proper teachings or equipment. This is a common problem companies face when dealing with underground construction and making sure to jot down worker activity each day excavation is performed.
How Policy Can Prevent Errors
Implementing a prevention policy for excavation can reduce future errors and also educate workers currently on board and future hirers.Below I have listed worker’s tasks that should be completed on an excavation job for future safety
- Expanding the safety zone and verifying markings of utilities through physical contact and crossings underground
- Standardize nationwide policies and written specs from engineers on specific dig sites
- Locate all stakeout reports for the site and walk the area thoroughly while communicating with new workers each day to increase validity
According to a Purdue University report,
savings and safety are achieved through reducing unforeseen utility conflicts and relocations, as well as reducing project delays. Performing the tasks above can make a work site run smoothly with the communication of its workers.
Building Confidence in Your Team and Vac-Tron
Following protocol and the necessary steps to get the job done effectively and safely builds confidence in your team members and also the clients you are serving. Vac-Tron prides itself on the high-level of service it offers its clients through careful consideration of each dig site.Below are additional benefits to having their sites serviced using vacuum excavation by the professionals at Vac-tron.
- Reduce the risk of project delays due to utility cuts
- Vacuum excavation reduces the utility companies’ costs to repair damaged facilities
- Drastically minimize damage to existing pavements or other surrounding areas
- Reduce the risk of environmental damage
Participation on-site from all co-workers will increase productivity as well as increase the skill level of workers. Professionals take precaution in every job to make sure proper damage prevention is performed for their consumers and giving them peace of mind. Keep your infrastructure in good and take advantage of vacuum excavation. Rely on Vac-Tron Equipment and get the job done safely and efficiently the first time.
Below is a great article showing another example of the many ways you can use you a hydro-excavation unit.
BY JOHN RYANHydro-excavation offers another option in rescuing a buried victim in a trench collapse incident. A truck-mounted hydro-excavator system uses a pressurized stream of water to wash the soil away from the victim. The soil and water are then removed simultaneously from the excavation, using a vacuum hose or tube. Although the technique is similar to that of using pneumatic excavators (vacuum trucks), the main difference is that in hydro-excavation, a pressurized water stream replaces a high-pressure air stream.Originally developed as a non destructive excavation method, hydro-excavation uses a highly controlled, variable-pressure stream of water of up to 2,000 psi to reduce the soil to a state in which it can be removed by a high-volume vacuum system. A typical hydro-excavator truck consists of a variable-flow water pressure pump, a vacuum system, and separate holding tanks for water and debris collection.