Vacuum Excavation

A|I|DATA excavates test holes to determine the exact location of underground utilities that may conflict with a proposed design. We use a high-pressure stream of compressed air to loosen the soil and a powerful vacuum to extract material into a holding tank. This process is the safest method of excavation to expose existing facilities. We backfill and restore test holes after documenting measurements and observations. An inventory and detailed report for each test hole on subsurface structures is prepared and submitted to the client.

The Process

  1. Preparation and Safety:  Trained staff members arrive and secure area. Safety is always a top concern. In addition to wearing safety equipment, our staff provides maintenance of traffic and coordination with the public.
  2. Test Hole Set-up:  Exact location of test hole is determined. Based on the targeted utility and the use of utility detection equipment, we identify the best location for each test hole.
  3. Excavation:  After carefully removing turf or pavement, an air-knife or lance is used to loosen the soil. All excavated material is vacuumed into our holding tank until the utility is uncovered.
  4. Measuring:  Once the utility is located, careful measurements are made of its exact location. After measuring the precise depth and position of the utility relative to nearby landmarks, we carefully record the findings. These are later incorporated into the test hole report.
  5. Restoration:  After the measurements are recorded, we backfill and compact the soil, then replace the disturbed turf or patch paved surfaces. This restores the area to its original state.