Is Hydro Excavation Better Than Traditional Mechanical Excavation Methods?

pressure works Hydro Vacuum Excavation

What is hydro excavation and is it better than mechanical excavation? If so, why? Let’s take a look in more detail in the article below.

Hydro excavation, also known as Non-Destructive Digging, is the latest technology in the excavation business.

The technology behind hydro excavation and the methods used in this form of excavation involve using high-pressure water jets on the ground, thereby causing soil particles to loosen and break up.

After the ground has been loosened up, a vacuum system sucks up the loosened soil, sucking the materials into a debris tank for storage and later disposal if need be.

This ingenious method of excavation has proven to be useful in a wide variety of environments. Most importantly, it has proven to be a better excavation solution than traditional mechanical excavation methods.

In what way is hydro excavation better than mechanical excavation methods, you may ask? Following are some of the benefits of hydro excavation:

  • Has better safety credentials
  • Is more cost-effective
  • Non-destructive to the surrounding environment
  • Has little to no impact on underground utilities, and
  • It is versatile

#1. Hydro Excavation Is Safer

Hydro excavation has been proven to be much safer for the excavation personnel and the people around the excavation site.

Mechanical excavation is fraught with danger as it involves heavy machinery moving around, digging up the ground, and removing the soil and other materials therein.

Hydro excavation involves one moving part – the water jet wand, which excavation personnel can move accurately even in tight spaces.

#2. Non-Destructive To The Surrounding Environment

One of the defining characteristics of hydro jetting is its accuracy. Using the water-jetting wand, you can accurately direct the water jet. More importantly, the water jet does not destroy or loosen the surrounding ground.

The high-pressure water jet leaves the surrounding soil intact and stable. This method of extraction is in stark contrast to traditional mechanical excavation methods.

For instance, excavation using backhoes results in the indiscriminate destruction of the ground. Even with the best backhoe operator, the backhoes cannot accurately excavate a specific soil and leave the surrounding soil intact.

However, because hydro excavation is a non-destructive digging method, it’s effective in preserving the environment better than traditional excavation methods.

#3. Hydro Excavation Is More Cost-Effective

The accuracy of hydro excavation reduces damage to the surrounding utilities. This reduces the cost associated with repairing any damaged utilities, which can be a significant expense associated with traditional excavation methods.

That said, hydro excavation is cost-effective on its own merit. As it does not involve the use of a wide variety of machines – just a the hydro-excavation truck – there is no need to transport a lot of heavy equipment.

Moreover, hydro excavation requires a couple of personnel to operate the machine and complete the project. As such, the labour costs associated with hydro excavation are significantly lower.

#4. It Has Little To No Impact On Underground Utilities

Daylighting using traditional mechanical means such as augers and hand digging poses a risk to the buried utilities. These methods use force to break up the soil and expose the utilities.

However, in the event the utilities are mismarked, there is a risk of rupturing the utility lines. With hydro vacuuming, the risk is significantly reduced owing to two factors.

  • The water jetting wand that excavation personnel use in the excavation process allows technicians to work around any sensitive utilities.
  • The pressure from the water jet can be adjusted to minimise any risk of damage further.

#5. Hydro Excavation Is More Versatile Than Mechanical Excavation

Hydro excavation is a versatile excavation method. While the mechanical excavation method is limited as the environments and the tasks it can handle, hydro excavation can take on a wide variety of excavation projects.

Such projects include underground and or confined-space excavation in urban settings, landscaping, excavation of demolition debris, cleaning sewer line, potholing, slot trenching, pile hole excavation, exposing utilities, and other excavation projects.

All things considered, hydro excavation is a far better excavation method than the traditional excavation methods.

If you have an excavation project on hand, and you need a safe and efficient excavation method, you can rely on Pressure Works to handle the project safely and professionally. Please call us today on 0419 577 441 or contact us through our website.