How many utility line crossings are buried under the route of that trench you need? There will be some you know about in advance, and some you may find as a surprise, like the gas line, telephone cable, fiber optic line with hundreds of signals, or very old forgotten water main… still in use. Bodine hydro-excavation uses high-pressure water to dig a trench (or pothole for directional drilling). A large vacuum hose sucks up the spoil into the truck for removal, leaving a precise trench and no “backhoe fade” on the utility lines. The liability for cut lines and bad public relations resulting from backhoe “accidents” are reason enough to use Bodine hydro-excavation.

The method of excavating trenchesdigging holes and locating sub surface utilities, combines the cutting force of high pressure water or air, with the suction power of industrial vacuum trucks to remove the dislodged material. In situations where delicate, dangerous or unknown pipes, piping or utilities lie beneath the surface, Hydro and Pneumatic Excavation provide a safe and economical alternative to excavation with mechanical equipment such as back hoestrack hoes and trenchers.

In many situations Hydro or Pneumatic Excavation offers the best overall value for accomplishing the task at hand. Many project sites such as pipeline compressor stations, electric utility plants, areas with buried fiber-optic cable, or limited access, require this method of excavation exclusively. The risk and possible ramifications of digging with traditional mechanical methods are simply too great to ignore.

The Hydro/Pneumatic Excavation Process

As is the case with every job Bodine conducts, a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is completed prior to beginning the work. In this process, the known and or potential hazards are identified and discussed with the entire crew. All team members sign the form to indicate they are aware of the potential hazards associated with the job and that everything possible that can be done to eliminate a workplace injury, incident or near-miss will be done. Likewise, at the conclusion of the shift, all sign to indicate another safe and successful workday has been completed.

After a thorough safety briefing, the crew sets up the job by staging the Hydro Excavation Truck and laying out the hose and necessary tools to perform the trenching operation. A typical crew consists of an operator and one laborer. Within a short time period, they are up and running, beginning the process of excavating a trench or boring holes. The rate of material removal is related to soil types and conditions. Large rocks or buried debris can obviously take longer to work through than sandy or loam type soils. Given typical Midwestern soil conditions, the two person crew can hydro excavate upwards of 150’ of 12” wide by 24” deep trench in a 10 hour day. The excavated material can be stockpiled on site for later use as backfill or can be transported to another location as specified by the client.

Applications for Hydro & Pneumatic Excavation

Excavating to uncover water line breaks, expose buried utility lines, open up trenches, set utility poles and pipe bollards and repair collapsed drainage tile are all proven applications for this exciting technology. Hydro excavation combines the power of high pressure water jets to break up the soil, while using an industrial vacuum loader to lift out the material, adding a degree of safety and reliability to challenging excavations.

Contact the Bodine Team to learn more about this process and the wide variety of solutions we have to offer.

Bodine’s hydro-excavation services offer:

  • cleaning of municipal and industrial drain and sewer lines of any size quickly and effectively using high velocity water jets and specialized tips;
  • vacuuming of debris from manholes and sewer lines;
  • video inspections of underground pipes and lines;
  • specialized cutting tips to go easily through roots and blockages;
  • removal of soil and rocks with high pressure jets while vacuuming the excavated material into the vacuum tank with hydro excavation;
  • daylighting or potholing to locate sensitive underground utilities without damage;
  • excavation of post holes and utility pole footings in hard-to-reach areas.


Bodine continues to provide specialized industrial cleaning services to a wide variety of corporate and municipal clients. We operate from a core philosophy of adding value to our client's business by providing solutions to their difficult cleaning problems.

No company wants to be in need of emergency response services but accidents happen. And when they do, you definitely want the experience and technical capabilities that Bodine Services provides.

When a client needs environmental services, they usually want to deal with a single entity that can accomplish the task at hand without the need to involve other outside parties. Bodine understands this and is able to provide not only Contracting Services but Consulting Services as well.

Bodine conducts and assists with waste sampling and profiling along with manifesting, transportation, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste.



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