Published: August 30, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Daylighting Mean?

Daylighting is defined as the process of exposing subsurface pipelines and utilities by excavating the soil over the structure. This can be accomplished by using various methods such as hydro excavation, backhoe excavation or manual digging. Daylighting is typically used to inspect utilities for cracks, leaks, breaks and other types of damage or failure.

Daylighting is also known as potholing.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Daylighting

Daylighting, although necessary, is a high-risk operation which can potentially damage underground utilities if done incorrectly. Heavy construction equipment such as backhoes and excavators are cumbersome and lack precision. Therefore, they pose a high risk of utility damage. Hand digging, on the other hand, can be very time and labor intensive.

These conventional methods usually remove more soil than necessary and can ultimately be costly. Hydro excavation is the preferred method for daylighting since the use of pressurized water minimizes the risk of pipe damage and increases excavation precision.




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