For many years, construction companies utilized hydraulic-powered excavators to dig up holes for various tasks. Unfortunately, these tools were not exactly as safe as they should have been. Accidents frequently occur with such equipment, and more often than not, these digging operations have led to damaged underground utilities that can be expensive to fix.

If this is a problem you do not want to face during your projects, there is a solution: hydrovac excavation. Let us talk more about this type of excavating method and see how it can benefit your digging needs:

What is hydrovac?

Also called hydro excavation, the hydrovac process uses high-pressure water to cut and liquefy soil. At the same time, a high-volume vacuum sucks up the cut-up debris to clear the excavated area. The soil and water get sucked and stored in a unit mounted on a large truck.

How is a hydrovac commonly used?

 Hydrovacs are typically used in soil trenching, daylighting, piling hole excavation, cold weather digging, and debris removal. For daylighting, the hydrovac is largely preferred because it is effective at finding underground utilities. If a typical hydraulic excavator were to be used, there is a massive risk of striking the utilities, causing heavy damage in the process. 

For other uses, like cold weather digging, the traditional hydraulic excavator will have a lot of issues trying to dig through the frozen ground. With high-pressure water from a hydrovac, however, the frozen ground poses no problem, which is why it is used so often for cold weather digging.

 What are the benefits of hydrovac?

The biggest benefit of hydrovac is safety. It is a method recognized by the Common Ground Alliance as a safe method to expose utilities. No matter what needs to be exposed, whether it be gas mains, power lines, and more, a hydrovac ensures there is no risk of damaging the infrastructure, not to mention the workers handling the operation.

Apart from safety and minimized risk of damaged utilities, another benefit that hydrovac has to offer is its high-precision cuts. The hydrovac can cut and excavate with alarming accuracy, minimizing damage. In addition, hydrovac is also cost-effective because it requires fewer people to operate. It is also less of a hindrance on the site because the debris is stored in a tank rather than lying around exposed.


All in all, the hydrovac presents a great solution if you need to expose utilities or carry out high-precision digging, especially if you want fewer and safer workers on-site. It is a non-mechanical and non-destructive method that is usable in many cases, whether you need it for cold-weather digging or debris removal. 

If you are looking for hydrovac services, take your time to research reliable companies to work with. This can ensure you work with quality equipment that will get the job done quickly and, more importantly, safely.

 DL Nagel Excavating Ltd. is a full-service excavating company offering excavating, demolition, hydrovac, and many other services to fulfill any excavating needs. If you need hydrovac services in Medicine Hat, work with us today!