Utility vacuum excavation truck at work

Vacuum Excavation

Vacuum excavation is the latest land excavation technology. It uses kinetic energy in a high velocity air stream to penetrate, expand, and break up soil for underground utility excavation. Vacuum Excavation is a cost-effective way to be very precise with utility locating while avoiding the risk of damaging tree roots, underground pipes, and utility lines. When compared to water or shovel, air accomplishes difficult excavating tasks with greater speed and efficiency, increasing production while reducing cost. These benefits, in combination with added safety for both the operator and utilities, make air vacuum the choice for The Underground Detective’s excavation needs. Vacuum excavation services are used for the following services:Vacuum Excavation

  • Underground Utility Verification
  • Remote (Inside Buildings) Excavation
  • Valve Box and Catch Basin Cleaning
  • Utility Line Service Terminations
  • Clearing Environmental Boring Holes
  • Precise Vertical, Horizontal, Size and Type of Utility for Pre-Job Surveying


The vacuum excavation system used by The Underground Detective has numerous features that make it the most effective method of excavation.

  • 220 PSI/300 CFM air compressor combined with the Air-Tec™ nozzle makes this unit able to penetrate the hardest soils in record time
  • 100 PSI air jackhammer and air tamper allow for immediate backfilling
  • 3000 PSI water backup (Air used 95% of the time) will dig a 12″ x 12″ x 5′ hole in approximately 10 minutes
  • 3000 PSI water backup for wet clay (Air used 80% of the time) that will dig a 12″ x 12″ x 5′ hole in approximately 10 minutes

Air Vacuum Excavation

Air Vacuum Excavation is a quick, thorough, non-destructive, and cost-effective way to safely locate and expose buried utilities underground. High pressure air is used to break up the earth’s soil, which is then literally vacuumed up into a storage or holding tank. Since we quite literally expose any underground utilities, this method gives us exact excavation locating without the risk of damaging anything underground such as buried utility lines, tree roots, and/or pipes.

Applications & Benefits of Air Vacuum Excavation

  • To verify the condition, type, diameter, and depth of buried utilities.
  • Identifying and resolving potential conflicts during the design and planning phases of a construction job.
  • To eliminate the need for hand digging.
  • Saves time and labor and is especially useful for utilities that are buried deep underground or in a congested area.
  • Valve box and catch basin cleaning
  • Clearing environmental boring holes

Benefits of Air vs. Water Excavation

Air excavation offers diverse and valuable benefits that cannot be attained through the use of water excavation. The following qualities allow The Underground Detective to provide you with cost-effective, efficient excavation work regardless of the service requested:

  • Air digs faster in most soils
  • Air spoils remain dry, eliminating mud disposal problems
  • Air won’t damage utilities or road bases
  • Air allows faster cleanup and is environmentally safe

Utility Vacuum Excavation Service Steps

  1. Soil and rock are broken up by a high velocity air stream to penetrate, expand, and break up soil for underground utility excavation and the loosened earth is vacuumed into a holding tank.
  2. Underground utilities are exposed, identified, and recorded
  3. Excavated soil is returned and compacted back into the excavation area.
  4. Any surface structures are restored

Are you ready to schedule your vacuum excavation services?