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Soil Vacuuming & Excavation Services

Soil Vacuuming is a very common operation that Envirocore does on an almost daily basis. Clients often need the ability to work where utility lines are buried. We use our VACMASTERS 1000 Air/Water Knife! 

Soil vacuuming is also known as soil vacuum excavation, air excavation, air knife soil excavation, suction excavation or potholing. Sometimes water is used so it can also be called hydro excavation, hydro trenching, hydrovac or soft digging.
Whatever you call it, soil vacuuming is fast & safe digging that's fantastic for high risk areas, like around utility lines. Sewer lines, buried electric, fiber optic cable, or other underground cables can be easily damaged when digging with traditional soil removal methods. It's even up to 2 to 3 times faster than hand clearing soil!
This photo shows buried utility lines.
Soil had to be removed using an air knife. No damage was done to the lines and pipes.
How it works is that the air is highly pressurized and forced through a custom nozzle that can actually get it's speed up to TWICE THE SPEED OF SOUND! The ground beneath us might seem totally solid, but really there are small cracks everywhere. Think about a dry riverbed in the middle of summer, how the cracks appear. Well, the cracks are always there, just smaller. The supersonic air creates a cavity in between the cracks and forces chunks of dirt out. The air knife literally blows up the soil!
How supersonic compressed air is used to "blow up" dirt. 
The air knife is usually accompanied by a soil vacuum that sucks up the loose materials as they're blown up.
Soil vacuuming works on normal soil, even hard packed dirt. It also works on mud, sand, compacted clay, even through ground frost.
Air knives are faster than digging in almost any soil. When doing soil excavation with air it only takes about 3-7 minutes to dig a 12"x12"x5' deep pothole.  But you can go deeper! Typical applications allow for four or five feet down, but air knives have been known to go up to 25' down. The air knife itself only works for several inches below it, so you have to keep lowering the knife into the pothole.
Another example of soil vacuuming around utility pipes and lines.
Even better, when doing air knife soil excavation the spoils stay dry. When using water excavation obviously you have to worry about hauling mud away, disposal costs, and hauling in backfill. Also, water can pose a problem when dealing with electrical lines. Air knives also won't damage the roadbase and are 100% approved by the DOT.
Another thing about potholing with air that it is very safe. The air knife only displaces porous material. Other stuff like pipes, cables, roots and even boots and skin will still stay intact. This is very important for us and our staff! Air knives have also been used to digging out people buried after a trench collapse.
With dry air excavation methods your spoils stay dry, allowing you to backfill with it. You have no need to truck in more dry backfill for the hole. Our VACMASTERS 1000 truck sports a huge 300 gallon tank to easily and quickly backfill potholes.
So contact us today for any of your soil excavation needs! Our air knife teams can help you with just about any project involving buried utility lines or other underground objects that are at risk of being otherwise damaged.
Being centrally located in Columbus, Ohio, we can quickly get to anywhere in the state, including Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Findlay, Dayton and other Ohio locations. Envirocore also services much of the midwest including West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana. Contact us today!
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