Underground utility infrastructures are becoming more and more congested and complicated as they compete for limited space to accommodate ever-increasing demands. Safety, as well as financial concerns, have also increased as exact vertical and horizontal locations of utilities are more in need of design and construction.


Vacuum Technology

  • Using non-destructive water or air vacuum technology, Subtronic can excavate in areas inaccessible to conventional digging equipment – even in sensitive areas such as around high-pressure gas, high voltage electric and petroleum refineries
  • A vacuum excavator works by using either high-pressure air or water to break up the soil. A powerful vacuum removes the loosened dirt and transports it to a holding tank where it is stored until it is used for backfill or hauled away for disposal
  • The excavator creates small holes (8″-10″) in diameter to positively identify the location of existing utilities or dig “slot trenches” to whatever length is necessary for heavily congested areas
  • Most services are located within 4-5 feet of ground surface and can be safely exposed within 10-15 minutes, depending on soil conditions. Subtronic’s vacuum excavation rigs can dig holes to over 20 ‘deep to find even the hardest to find services


  • Even with hand tools, it’s all too easy to damage a buried utility, and, of course, backhoes are notorious for causing utility accidents
  • If the utility is under a street surface, the 1ft x 1ft pothole created by a vacuum excavator is much faster and easier to patch than the much larger hole left by hand digging or a backhoe

Applications of Vacuum Excavation

  • Exposing underground utilities
  • Excavation in sites too small for excavators or backhoes
  • “Slot trenching” in areas with a multitude of utilities
  • Environmental monitoring Well installations
  • Installing cathodic protection
  • Street sign installations
  • Footing excavations
  • Fence or barricade installations