Exposing Buried Utility Lines

Day lighting is the term for exposing utility lines to daylight for the purpose of verifying the exact depth and location of the lines. This is primarily done to avoid hitting these lines with heavy equipment when doing construction in the area.

Exposing Buried Utility Lines

Fast Traditional Method

Traditionally, these lines were dug out by hand. This is a slow labor intensive method, which sometimes results in damage to the line and on rare occasion results in the injury of a person who “finds” it. A backhoe, while faster, is cumbersome to use for this and increases the risk to the utility lines. Not only that, but either of these methods results in a large hole, a big mess, and a huge pile of loose dirt.

Hydro Excavation

Hydro excavation is the process of using pressurized water coupled with a vacuum to dig a small precise hole to find and expose the utility lines. We direct pressurized water into the ground with a hand-held wand, which makes a fairly small hole. A powerful vacuum removes the slurry debris created by the process, which is then deposited in a debris tank.

Low Risk

The lines are found without risk of damage or injury, and the dirt from the process is not sitting there in a heap. Best of all, the hole stays small, so small that the process is also called potholing, because of the small neat pothole-sized opening and the minimal damage to the surrounding area.

At 4 Warriors Hydro Excavating, our professional crew is well-trained in all aspects of day lighting excavation. Please contact us to effectively locate underground utility lines and pipes using our state of the art hydro excavation systems.

Vacuum Excavating vs Manual Digging

For hundreds of years, manual digging with picks and shovels was the standard way to dig into the ground. Today, work crews still employ manual digging in areas next to buried piping, cabling, and other sensitive underground utilities.

Vacuum Excavating vs Manual Digging

While manual digging is safer than digging with a backhoe, it is not a fool-proof method. When the soil is dense and hard, shoveling with a light touch to avoid damaging underground utilities isn’t possible. Sometimes force is required when using the digging tools. Full body weight applied to the shovel is often necessary. Sometimes sharp picks or even 20-pound digging bars with sharp edges are slammed into the ground to break apart the soil before it is shoveled out.

Using these manual tools with such force risks damaging underground cabling and piping, especially when you aren’t 100% sure of their precise location. Surface erosion and past landscaping work can change their depth. Tree roots can displace their position as well. This uncertainty is often the case when using very old drawings or blueprints. Striking a tool against a big cast iron sewer pipe may not cause harm, but what about a small diameter fiber optic cable buried without a conduit? What if the piping has a protective coating?

Vacuum excavating will safely and efficiently do the work without exposing sensitive underground utilities to expensive damage. This technology uses pressurized water to break apart the soil while a vacuum pipe simultaneously draws out the water. What takes hours to do with shovels and picks is safely done in minutes with vacuum excavating technology.

4 Warriors Hydro Excavating has the best operators and techs in the industry and uses the best equipment. We work efficiently and safely, and will get the job done on time and within your price budget. To learn more about our services and for answers to your questions, please contact us.