Utility Potholing & Vacuum Excavation


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Due to the nature of sites changing and, more frequently, in built-up areas the ground has become heavily congested with existing utilities. As a result of this in a lot of areas it has become almost impossible to excavate with traditional methods for site investigation work. In most circumstances either damage is caused by the excavator which is putting operatives at danger and in some cases the public too, or if manual excavation is to be employed then this can come at a great expense as the excavators have to be paid for and there is no return for this.

How much does a utility strike cost your company and is it worth the risk?

For utilities supplier there is the disruption to supplies, the lost revenue, the negative publicity and the customer service issues. For a contractor there are serious cost implications, project delays, and the potential damage to a relationship with the client. Above all, utility strikes can injure operators and members of the public. Sadly, in some cases, it can kill.

What is Utility Potholing?

Utility Potholing is a newer technology which uses a high power vacuum suction system to excavate soils or other materials during site investigation, Utility verification, remediation programs, construction projects or other civil engineering work. This less invasive technique is used to loosen soils, rather than heavy machinery or hand held tools. After loosening, the soil is extracted from the sub-surface through an air vacuum hose which transports it to an on-board spoil/debris tank for later disposal or backfilling.

Util-locate have increased their use of vacuum excavation technology to assist with meeting client demand for this safe excavation service. Our Vacuum excavation allow us to continue to meet client demand using our fully trained and competent team and expand our services within the wider Utilities Infrastructure industry.

Why Potholing Utilities?

Potholing Utilities is fast becoming accepted as best practice in the field of site investigation, general construction civil engineering, and remediation works. It is becoming mandatory on fuel stations and power distribution sites and the preferred choice on most sensitive, safety-aware projects in the Utility Infrastructure community. By using this non-destructive technology we can; quickly, safely and economically pothole utilities in all areas where conventional digging equipment like, mini-diggers, backhoes, and trenchers could be used, but are otherwise inaccessible to traditional machinery. Vacuum excavation can also be used as an alternative to manual hand digging, protecting site operatives by reducing manual labor and reducing the risk of injury, fatigue and increasing the progress rate of an excavation program.

Why Use UTIL-LOCATE for Potholing and Vacuum Excavation?

  • Util-Locate is recognized as One of “The best” Utility Locating Companies in the state of California, by all its existing clients and in the utilities infrastructure world. We are referred to as “Masters of our craft”. When it comes to Subsurface Investigations & DAMAGE PREVENTION…we lead the way.
  • Util-Locate not only make it their personal challenge to Locate some of The most difficult Utilities and Unknown lines beneath the ground - but have greater success than all other companies.
  • Util-Locate continues to save the Utility Infrastructure Community, hundreds of thousands of dollars, valuable time and headaches in DAMAGE PREVENTION each year.
  • Util-Locate have been established as the “GO-TO” company for any preliminary/pre-design phase site-work investigation, and on the majority of utilities infrastructure projects in Southern California.
  • Util-Locate is fully capable of; locating the utility line, Potholing, verifying & documenting it. We can provide you with the Exact Depth, Direction, Material and Size of Pipe or Line below the ground.
  • What better company to hire than Util-Locate who is very familiar with the Utility Underground world, and will stop at nothing until we give you a clear understanding of your project.
  • Other excavation companies, JUST-DIG-HOLES, and will give you just that. They have no clue of the site’s utilities infrastructure and how investigation at this level works. Holes and trenches will eat away at your budget and time - when you hire the wrong company.

Advantages of Vacuum Excavation over Traditional Excavation Methods

The main advantages of vacuum excavation over conventional mechanical and hand excavation techniques are as follows:

  • It allows positive visual identification of Utilities, avoiding utility strikes and vastly improving safety at job sites.
  • It is faster and safer than physical hand digging
  • There is a reduction in manual handling and hard physical labor reducing the risk of injury and exertion
  • Excavation can be carried out in areas otherwise inaccessible by traditional machinery
  • Less surface damage, a cleaner restoration and often a potential to reduce the size of the excavation
  • Excavated spoils are removed from the area leaving surrounding roads/footpaths clear of debris
  • Less expensive to reinstate/repair the surface once the potholing is complete
  • Reduction in disruption to other site traffic, personnel and surface activities