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Pipes and Potholes: Two Hydro Vacuum Excavation Stories

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We feel strongly about all of our clients—both current and future—knowing what our hydro vacuum excavation services are capable of. We know that at facilities across the nation, managers are constantly coming up against the issue of digging for new construction or additions to existing structures without jeopardizing the integrity of buried lines and pipes. Almost any time there is the possibility of undetected buried lines, or any time excavation needs to happen without bringing in mechanical digging equipment and creating large piles of dirt on the site, hydro vacuum excavation holds the answer. In this post, we’d like to tell you about two recent projects in our home state of South Carolina. In both cases, our vacuum excavation services saved the day and accelerated the project for our grateful clients. Uncovering Without Damaging—a Specialty of Hydro Vacuum Excavation In many of our excavation projects, our client knows exactly what infrastructure is below the surface. The objective in these projects is actually to uncover that infrastructure so that the client can address a problem with it or make improvements. But digging with metal blades endangers pipes and communication lines, so a gentler approach is necessary. At the site of a nuclear power plant under construction in South Carolina, some pipes had been buried during the course of construction. In order to quickly uncover the pipes without damaging them, the client contacted Thompson Industrial Services for help. Our team has successfully accomplished this type of project numerous times in the past, so our technicians were able to quickly plan a solution, execute it, and uncover the pipes as needed in preparation for additional work to be performed on them. Our vacuum excavation services caused no damage to the uncovered pipes, thus avoiding complicated repairs and other associated expenses.

Our hydro vacuum excavation equipment preparing for a potholing job

  Efficient Potholing Potholing is a specific type of excavation involving the digging of small, precise holes, usually in preparation for installing posts of some kind. Our hydro vacuum excavation team is currently (as of this blogpost’s writing) in the middle of a large potholing project, digging 100 holes on another South Carolina site. Ultimately, these holes will be the anchor points for steel/concrete guard posts, strategically placed to protect above-ground water pipes from damage. Digging 100 potholes on a busy industrial site would be a very difficult task for traditional digging equipment, but our team had just the right hydro vacuum excavation equipment for the job. In the photo attached to this post, you can see the unit we are using to dig the potholes without posing a threat to any lines that may be buried below the surface. The basis of the equipment is a tool called a “soil surgeon,” which accurately describes the precision, gentleness, and skill with which our team digs these holes and protects the environment immediately surrounding them at the same time. There are already plans in place for Thompson Industrial Services to perform another hydro vacuum excavation project on the same site after the current potholing job is complete. We love it when a client realizes that our versatile vacuum excavation services could be the answer to other needs at their facilities, and we begin to develop a long-term relationship built on trust, reputation, and skill. Of course, our hydro vacuum excavation equipment itself is a central part of that relationship, but it must be handled by technicians that are committed to performing each job with integrity and creativity. Other Vacuum Excavation Services For excavation projects at power plants and in areas where there may be critical buried lines, our hydro vacuum excavation approach is usually ideal. However, there are some projects that require zero-moisture excavation. In those cases, we utilize our pneumatic vacuum excavation equipment. By using pressurized air instead of water, we dig with the same levels of efficiency but avoid introducing any water to the site. Our vacuum equipment even collects all soil and debris removed from the excavation site, keeping the environment uncontaminated until the soil is replaced or disposed of. 

We invite you to contact us to learn more about our highly efficient, safe digging services as well as the many other industrial services that our expert technicians provide.


Press Contact
  • Emily Martin
  • Marketing Manager
  • 100 N. Main Street
  • Sumter, SC 29150

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