In the U.S., the gas industry spends over a billion dollars a year on pipeline rehabilitation. The conventional methods using pavement breakers, backhoes and dump trucks to remove surface materials and soil account for 80 percent of that cost. Vacuum excavation can reduce these costs by more than 50 percent. Vacuum excavation services allow a wide range of underground procedures utilizing the Vac-Hoe® and keyhole technique first developed by Miller Pipeline.
The typical opening necessary is about 18 inches. After the small area of pavement is removed, the Vac-Hoe equipment removes the soil. An air lance loosens the soil and it is removed by the vacuum hose, providing access to the pipe beneath. Once the excavation has been made, crewmen can carry out operations from the above ground with a wide variety of specialty tools designed and manufactured by Miller Pipeline.When work is completed, the excavated material stored in the soil collector is backfilled into the hole and the surface is repaired. In cold weather, the soil collector can be heated to prevent the material from freezing, which effectively extends the work season. To make the project even more efficient, our coring process can be used to remove the pavement. With this process, the existing pavement core can be reinstated and traffic can travel over the cut within 30 minutes in most cases.