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Non-Destructive Digging in Australia

non destructive digging in australia

Non-destructive digging (NDD) is a safe process to unearth and repair underground utilities. Utilities such as water pipes and telecommunications cables. The team of trained professionals remove the soil so that there is no damage to the surrounding area. 

NDD uses air and water to break up the soil. This is then vacuumed away, allowing for the service of underground utilities. 

Once this is complete, they return the soil to its original place and repack it. The result leaves the ground as it was before the digging. 

This makes NDD an environmentally friendly and efficient industrial waste management service. 

Many companies in Australia offer non-destructive digging services. It’s worth unpacking it for anyone interested in utilising the service or wanting to start a business of their own. 

What is Non-Destructive Digging?

Non-destructive digging (NDD) involves temporarily removing dirt and soil. This is to install repair or assess infrastructure below the ground. The dirt is returned to its original location once the procedure is completed. 

Two main methods exist. They are hydro excavation and pressurised air. You can use each separately. But NDD is also achieved through a combination of both. 

The use of high-pressure water or air breaks up the soil. using water creates a sludge. This does not happen when using air. However, both break up the soil in such a way that a vacuum can suck it up into an awaiting truck. 

This opens up the underground utilities that need a service. These include underground pipes, gas lines, sewer pipes, and other underground infrastructure. 

Once the services are complete, the soil gets taken from the storage tank and returned to its natural state. 

The result is a clean and precise excavation job. It’s far more efficient and faster than traditional excavation methods, like digging by hand. It also offers a precision that large machinery, like bulldozers, cannot achieve. 

When is Non-Destructive Digging Used?

Non-destructive digging (NDD) is used for various excavation jobs. Its many benefits ensure that it is a quick, quiet, effective, and environmentally friendly method. 

NDD’s primary use is in servicing underground utilities and infrastructure. This is because it causes little to no environmental damage. It is also unlikely to damage the infrastructure underground. 

But NDD has uses beyond this. Many industrial digs utilise it during some of their jobs.

The Difference Between Digging and Excavation

Digging and Excavation are two different jobs. Digging is typically reserved for small jobs, where minimal soil requires removal. It is often done with more traditional methods.

Excavation involves moving large amounts of soil, rocks, and other solid materials. It often requires the services of professionals trained in mechanical excavation methods.

What is Vacuum Excavation?

Vacuum excavation is a non-destructive digging service that involves sucking the loosened soil to remove it. The vacuum systems remove soil from an excavation site and temporarily keep it in a storage tank.

It is commonly used to reveal underground services. they include telecommunication lines and other underground assets.

This excavation process is the preferred option in the construction industry as it has a far lesser environmental impact.

Only trained non-destructive digging services perform vacuum excavation.

7 Benefits of Non-Destructive Digging?

There are 7 benefits of NDD.

  1. It prioritises safety
  2. It is Cost Effective
  3. It has minimal environmental impact
  4. It allows for greater precision
  5. It reduces the risk of damage to underground infrastructure
  6. It is quiet and efficient
  7. It has a wide range of application potential

Let’s explore these in greater detail.

  1. NDD Prioritises Safety

Operating NDD equipment requires trained and experienced personnel. The workers are highly skilled professionals who understand the task at hand. This ensures minimal danger to human health and well-being.

  1. It is Cost Effective

NDD is far cheaper than traditional excavation methods. This has to do with both its speed and the cost of hiring a team of professionals. Traditional digging tactics require large teams and a variety of equipment. The task also takes far longer to complete. NDD is far more effective and efficient. 

  1. Minimal Environmental Impact

Because it can return the soil to its original state, NDD has a far lesser environmental impact. Additionally, its precision ensures that little to no extra damage is caused to the surrounding ground. 

Any ground excavation must consider the risks of Soil Contamination.

  1. Greater Precision.

They use a combination of an experienced workforce and high-tech machinery. This ensures that the excavation process is precise and efficient. Clients can rest assured that no other soil is overturned in the process.

  1. It Reduces the Risk of Damage to Underground Infrastructure

NDD’s goal is to unearth the soil covering underground infrastructure. It is important to protect this infrastructure in the process of Excavation. A risk reduction is a significant benefit that traditional methods cannot guarantee. 

  1. It is Quiet and Efficient.

The trained personnel know how to do the excavation job quickly and efficiently. But there is an additional benefit. Bulldozers are noisy and cannot be operated at all hours. NDD machinery is far quieter, resulting in less noise pollution and complaints from residents. 

  1. It Has a Wide Range of Application Potential 

There are many uses for NDD. While it is primarily used as an excavation method to service underground utilities, it can be used for many other purposes. Its cost-effectiveness and precision make it a popular all-round excavation method. 

How to Service Underground Utilities

Underground services and utilities require non-destructive digging methods to unearth the infrastructure. If a company does not safely excavate soil, they risk damaging the utilities.

Non-destructive digging involves using high-pressure water jets or high-pressure air. It helps to loosen the ground and other debris in the excavation site. This forms drill mud that is subsequently vacuumed up into a storage container.

This reveals the buried services that need repair. Once they service the underground utilities, they return the soil and restore the ground conditions.

Non-Destructive Digging in Australia

The diversity of the Australian landscape calls for numerous excavation jobs. Non-destructive digging is helpful in both urban and rural areas.

Non-destructive Digging in Urban Areas

NDD allows for non-invasive and environmentally friendly digging and underground utility repairs. Non-destructive digging in cities like Sydney and Melbourne is widespread due to its many benefits.

City infrastructure, like gas pipes, requires frequent servicing. Non-destructive digging ensures that this is done quickly and that the excavation area is not permanently damaged.

Non-Destructive Digging in Rural Areas.

Excavation work in the rural areas of Australia must consider the beautiful surrounding environment. Farmers wouldn’t want their soil permanently destroyed because someone wanted to do pipe relining.

Non-destructive digging is a safe process with minimal damage to the grounds. It is an efficient alternative to traditional trenching methods and will be completed quickly.

The Future of Non-Destructive Digging in Australia

Non-destructive digging continues to be a safe and efficient excavation process. This is likely to stay the same in the near future.

The industry could see a shift towards more efficient and environmentally friendly methods. Much like all waste management systems seeks to lessen the effects of climate change and global warming. Significant investments from the Australian government and other municipal agents could help it to grow further. This will allow it to continue to develop non-invasive excavation methods.