Earthworks (digging, trenching, excavating) are just one of the important construction works that needs careful supervision. For those who are not acquainted with construction, workers do not dig ground just to lay the foundations of structures of buildings, but they dig as a primary step in locating underground utilities. One such method they carry out is air vacuum excavation.
Air vacuum excavation is one of the two methods in vacuum excavation (the other one being hydro), a safe, cost-effective and non-destructive digging method that utilises both highly pressurised air and water in breaking up or loosening the soil and removing the debris by sucking them up into a container tank. Instead of using heavy machinery in digging up the soil, it has a high power vacuum equipment to do the work. What are the advantages that air excavation has over traditional earthwork or digging methods?
Advantages over Traditional Digging
Traditional earthwork methods will need spades or shovels, backhoes, bulldozers, excavators and other earthmoving equipment. The use of these tools and vehicles can damage the buried utilities which include plumbing systems, electrical lines, telecommunication cables, natural gas pipes and sewers and drains. Operating those tools and equipment above ground cannot be a careful and precise work at most times. The damages on these utilities can also spell dangers, especially if oil lines are disturbed and damaged.
Effectiveness of Air in Excavation
Air vacuum excavation has many uses not only in building and constructions but also in many phases of civil work. It can also be applied in agriculture, gardening, defence applications, environmental works and oil and gas drilling. The use of air in various types of earthworks has been proven to be cost-effective, safe and economical.
· Without the use of conventional earth tools and heavy machinery, the underground utilities can kept protected and can be disconnected and removed safety.
· In potholing works, air excavation can create precise holes of specific shapes and dimensions, something which conventional tools cannot provide.
· No hazards and risks in here, so no medical bills, no loss of productivity and working time and no claims of workers compensation – because no workers will get seriously injured.
· Faster than hand digging. It saves time and effort.
· The air vacuum truck is easily accessibly in areas impossible for heavy equipment to access.
· Less maintenance needed, as there will be no need for dump trucks to transport the debris. The vacuum truck will suction the debris and other materials into its container tank.
· No trees will be uprooted or balled. Civil contractors in Sydney can even perform vacuum excavation near plant life, with only minimal damages to the roots.
Advantages over Hydro Vacuum Excavation
Air and hydro excavations are both good digging methods, but what makes the former tick over the latter?
· Highly pressurised water can gradually damage utilities, unlike pressurised air.
· No mud or slurry, but only dry fill dirt. Mud is difficult to dispose of.
· Water is conserved and thus not contaminated.
· Less hazards of slipping around the excavated area.
Air vacuum excavation is indeed a safe, economical and non-destructive earthwork method in constructions, civil works and in other applications. It should only be done by level 1 ASP civil works contractors. zemní práce