Non-Destructive Digging – What Is It?

Non-destructive digging, or NDD, is a relatively new method of excavation that uses high-pressure water (hydro excavation) and vacuum technology to safely excavate a precise amount of earth out of the ground.

With several benefits, non-destructive excavation has quickly become the preferred method over manual digging with jackhammers and spades. NDD digging can be used for projects such as accessing underground stormwater or sewer pipes, gas lines or telecommunication lines to enable repairs.

Other uses include excavation for the construction industry, and it allows for soil samples to be taken while minimising cross-contamination. Non-destructive excavation is ideal for gaining access for relining underground pipes and can be used for both commercial and residential work.

Non-Destructive Digging Services

A company that specialises in vacuum excavation services like The Drain Man, provides the most optimal way of digging – here is how the process actually works.

Following an initial consultation with your specialist team, the details of the job are determined, and the job site inspected. A hydro vacuum truck is parked close to the site and the appropriate area of ground is marked out for digging – that may be a small single hole or a longer trench.

Hydraulic excavation using a powerful jet of water breaks up the soil and rocks. Because this jet of water can be very accurately aimed at the area requiring excavation, any damage to the surrounding land is minimised.

The hydro vacuum truck sucks up all the loosened soil, rocks and other debris with a high-volume suction hose and moves it into the storage tank on board the vehicle. The truck can be driven away to be easily emptied or alternatively, the matter can be used to fill in the hole after the job is complete, reducing the amount of waste.

Overall, it’s a pretty straightforward process, and it is incredibly safe, very affordable and environmentally friendly.

The Many Advantages of Non-Destructive Excavation

Because of the relatively simple process, the precision that is involved in non-destructive excavation and the specialised type of equipment used, there are a range of benefits to NDD.

Much Safer Digging

Non-destructive digging significantly reduces the risk of damage to any underground infrastructure services like wiring and pipes. The low-impact procedure makes it really simple and quick to check the status of any underground structures before beginning a project.

NDD is also safer for the team of workers too as the use of boom arms and hydraulic power arms on the equipment reduces the manual handling needed. The machinery can also sometimes be operated remotely so that the workers can stay a safe distance away if necessary.

Low Environmental Impact

These days there is a strong focus on minimising any damage to the environment and non-destructive excavation is incredibly eco-friendly. Due to only a really small, precise section of earth being excavated, without the need for heavy plant machinery trampling the ground, the surrounding ecosystems remain almost entirely undisturbed.

Only One Machine Needed

In the past, excavation traditionally involved a large drill or other machinery to break up the ground, an excavator to scoop up the soil and rock and a truck to remove it from the project site. That’s a lot of aggressive machinery, whereas NDD digging is done with only one vacuum truck, which sucks up the debris, stores it and can remove it from the site easily.

How Vacuum Excavation Is Cost Effective

Needing fewer crew members to complete the job, less hours needed to complete the excavation and less mess to clean up at the end than other digging methods, operational costs are kept considerably lower.

Using a non-destructive digging service is faster and also, because of the non-invasive method, it is pretty unlikely to cause any damage to underground infrastructure or the surrounding buildings – no repair costs.

A Good Choice for Densely Populated Areas

Excavation can cause some really severe damage to surrounding properties, especially in more built-up locations. Structures that are close to the excavation site can become unstable or suffer structural damage caused by the vibration of machinery and equipment or collapse of the ground.

The precision and smaller equipment used in non-destructive excavation greatly reduces the risk of damaging buildings in the vicinity.

To find out more about NDD and how it may suit your excavation project, call or email The Drain Man today. Their hydro crews are highly trained and experienced in non-destructive digging, with the skills to be known as a leading vacuum excavation service.