Vac-Excavating / Air Knife

Bravo Environmental possesses the capability in its fleet of vacuum trucks to use the “air-only” method of vacuum excavation, also know as “air knife”, which does not require the use of water while digging.  The use of compressed air, compared to a higher PSI water-blast spade, means the vacuum excavation method is less destructive.  Typical applications where the Vac-Ex / Air Knife method could be preferred are:

  • Ecologically sensitive sites with trees and roots
  • Small diameter electrical and gas utility daylighting
  • Existence of sensitive groundwater aquifers / water table at site
  • Where offsite disposal is required and/or material off-loading challenges and costs are prohibitive

The “air-only” method carries several advantages over the more common hydro-excavation method:

  • 150-200 PSI air spade is less destructive compared to 3000 PSI often used in hydro-excavation
  • More precise method than hydro-excavation, and can be more suitable for shallower digging applications, or pothole / keyhole locating
  • Debris tank spoils remain dry and are often reusable in the backfilling process, compared to hydro-excavation slurry, which can be difficult and costly to dispose of
  • More efficient volume-to-weight ratio for debris tank, which means trucks optimize time working on-site compared to having to leave site and offload and/or become overweight.

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