Air Excavation

Published: October 5, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Air Excavation Mean?

Air Excavation uses compressed air, rather than heavy equipment, to dig. It's a method which can be used to safely excavate underground utilities and the areas immediately adjacent to those utilities. Used in concert with other means of excavation, air excavation uses highly compressed air to dig into and loosen the soil. Once the soil is loosened sufficiently, the soil is vacuumed from the area being excavated and held in a dry debris storage tank.

Trenchlesspedia Explains Air Excavation

Air excavation offers a dry alternative to hydrovac excavation, a more precise alternative to a backhoe. It's also a safer (and less tiring) alternative to shovels when exposing underground utilities that your project’s design pathway intersects with or crosses. Highly compressed air is blown around the utility and the soil is simultaneously vacuumed away from the utility. The vacuum system storage tank serves the same purpose as the tank on wet dry vac, except that when the job is done soil can be blown out of the storage tank back into the hole and tamp down to restore the surface to its original state.

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