Hydrovacing utilizes high-pressure water to excavate soil, sediment, rocks, clay, and dirt, and then vacuums the chunks up into a holding tank once they’ve been broken up into small enough pieces. Once the hydrovac truck is full, the ‘slurry’ (what was removed) is then deposited in a safe, designated area. This type of excavation is used when there are pipes, gas lines, electricity, or other sensitive materials or structures in the excavation area.

Traditionally, before hydrovacs were common place, these sensitive digs were carried by backhoes or hand dug, which posed a number of difficulties to the digger. Studies have shown that hand digging and traditional excavation is responsible for almost 20% of all utility damages in North America, whereas hydrovac excavation is the non-destructive alternative. In 2013 alone, in Ontario, there were 197 cases where a buried electrical line was damaged during excavation.

Here are the benefits of using a Hydrovac:


Hydrovacs take less direct manpower, and have less men in the excavation area, so that if something were to go wrong, like a trench cave-in, there would be less people injured. When hand digging, there’s the possibility of hitting underground lines, electricity, pipes, water ways, which could end up seriously hurting the digger. If there are contaminated materials that need to be removed, it can be done safety with a hydrovac.


Hydrovacs are regarded as the safest, minimally invasive option in the construction industry. Since everything is vacuumed up and held in the holding tank, there is little chance of extraneous waste, run-off contaminating waterways and sewer systems, or needless destruction to the land and surrounding area. The destruction of waste is also carried out in a more controlled manner than conventional digging. Some of the sensitive objects that are avoided include plant life, trees, roots systems, and so on.

Speed and Precision

It is estimated that Hydrovacing can increase your excavation time between 50% and 100% or more over conventional digging. Once the dig is complete, the clean up process is significantly faster due to the precise nature of hydrovacing.

In the end, using a hydrovac and using First Call Energy in particular, will save you time, improve safety, increase productivity, lower project costs, and improve waste and the environment.