Vacuum Excavation

Many have faced the challenges of redesign, long lead times, safety risks, unexpected job costs and profit loss due to one of the most common construction accidents every year - an underground utility strike.

These accidents occur when there are inaccurate utility markings and/or unsafe digging and excavating techniques. To mitigate this risk for our team and clients, we begin every project planning process by identifying marked utility locations accurately and performing vacuum excavation – the method in which a high-pressure air or water and vacuum system locates underground utility lines and can access remote areas up to 50 feet away and 10 feet deep. It’s like a giant shop-vac with an 8” diameter hose mounted on a big truck. Project owners and engineers with foresight often hire our crews to determine the exact location of existing utilities while new construction is still in the design phase.

Brubacher’s expertise in this service includes:

  • locating existing utilities;
  • cleaning out valve boxes;
  • performing maintenance and repair on sanitary sewers;
  • locating existing underground obstructions;
  • digging under existing structures;
  • excavating fence posts and signs; and
  • performing emergency excavation response.

So, how do we perform this service on site? Our vacuum excavation truck operates a high-velocity air stream or high-power water jets to penetrate, expand, and break up soil for excavation. The process utilizes advanced technology, leading to minimum disruption underground, a safer and cleaner work environment on the job site, and higher levels of accuracy than traditional digging methods.

“Brubacher values safety and achieves productivity for our clients,” said Allan D., Director of Estimating and Project Management. “Vacuum excavation is an underutilized technique that we have great experience in and can confidently execute to benefit our clients’ projects, stay on schedule and deliver the experience they deserve. We do it right the first time.”

We highly urge clients to include vacuum excavation at early stages of site planning and development to eliminate risks and high-dollar change orders, as well as construction delays. Exposing all utilities ahead of the pipe crew’s efforts also increases their productivity significantly. The investment of this service is minimal compared to the costs incurred later on from inaccurate assumptions and constructability of the project layout and design. Additionally, with material times being exponentially longer than before due to the pandemic, it is critical to avoid risk and conflict on your job site; a setback or material change can cause a significant delay.

We continuously strive to provide insight on site for our clients, as well as invaluable solutions to increase their project profitability and overall client satisfaction. In our 50 years of experience, we have encountered numerous situations in which we have had to overcome challenges due to others’ inaccurate assumptions or lack of safety measures. We know it’s important to do what’s right and take precautions when necessary to ensure a safe working environment and a properly completed project. That is the experience you can expect when partnering with Brubacher.