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Posted on 10 November, 2018

What is Non-Destructive Digging?

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Caption: VAC Group

Non-destructive digging, also known as hydro excavation or vacuum excavation, is an important excavation technique with a number of residential and commercial applications. Widely accepted as the safest way to dig, vacuum excavation is a fast, effective and affordable excavation alternative


Depending on the application in question, non-destructive hydro excavation or vacuum excavator equipment can be used to perform work safely in the vicinity of underground services and sensitive installations.

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What is non-destructive digging?

The process of vacuum excavation removes organic or inorganic materials from existing holes or surfaces, from small particles through to heavy debris. From pipe replacements and utility installations through to the removal of street waste and demolition material, non-destructive excavation is the safest and most effective way to expose and excavate around existing underground services. While vacuum excavation and hydro excavation work in a similar way, excavation hydro equipment utilises a water jet to break up debris prior to suction.

What is non-destructive digging used for?

Soft digging excavation has a number of possible applications, including new service installations, pipe and fitting replacements, railway and roadside maintenance, exploratory excavations, and clearing contaminated debris from work-sites and public spaces. In fact, non-destructive digging can be used whenever people need to remove debris or expose and access space to perform work. Not only is this a safer way to work in the presence of underground utilities, vacuum excavation can also be faster and more affordable due to reduced labour costs.

Why is non-destructive digging important?

Non-destructive excavation is essential for a number of applications, including jobs that involve buried pipes and other sensitive equipment easily damaged through conventional excavation. Being able to safely remove objects and materials with a construction vacuum dramatically reduces the risk of damaging existing infrastructure such as underground telephone, gas, and electricity services. Whether you use a ditch witch hydro excavator or high-pressure water excavation equipment, non-destructive digging offers safe excavation and peace of mind when performing critical debris and soil removal.


How does non-destructive digging work?

Reliable non-destructive excavation demands professional equipment and experience. Also known as a suction excavator or construction vacuum, a vacuum excavator is central to the operation. While there's a number of equipment choices on the market, all soft digging work uses similar principles of powerful suction and containment. In a typical case scenario, the VAC truck or guzzler truck uses vacuum or high-pressure water excavation for debris and soil removal. Before starting the project, utility detection equipment will normally be used to map the area and minimise potential damage.


What are the most common projects?

While non-destructive digging can be used as an alternative to conventional excavation in most situations, it is particularly useful when fast excavation is required close to existing utilities and underground infrastructure. While this method of excavation is popular with residential and commercial applications, it's especially useful for large civil projects with demanding deadlines. It's not just what's under the ground that's important, however. With a hydrovac system, you are also able to protect heritage listed areas and natural environments without damaging major root systems and plant life.


Looking for reliable non-destructive digging contractors?

VAC Group is a 100% owned and operated Australian company specialising in non-destructive excavation and related techniques. Established in Queensland in 2000 with one truck and two men, this company set out to become Australia's leading proponents of non-destructive vacuum excavation and underground asset location and mapping. Along with a range of vac truck and utility locator hiring options, VAC Group also has over 155 staff, 85 vacuum excavation units, 5 electronic detection crews, and Australia’s only independently operated 3D radar for utility depiction. If you're looking for trusted and highly experienced non-destructive digging contractors, VAC Group are ready to tackle any task. 


Contact VAC Group today to arrange a personalised obligation-free quote.


PO Box 528, Ormeau QLD 4208

VAC Group is Australia’s leaders in non-destructive digging, vacuum excavation, utility locating and underground services protection.

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