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Pipe Management Australia (PMA) has a strong background in vacuum excavation, which is also commonly known as hydro-excavation or non-destructive digging (NDD) and even potholing. Recently PMA was contracted by a valued client to conduct two vacuum excavation projects on South Bank on the picturesque Brisbane River.

Pipe Management Australia has been an Australian leader in vacuum excavation, for more than a decade. Operating across the east coast of Australia, PMA team members were some of the first field technicians to perform vacuum excavation services anywhere in the country. 

What is Vacuum Excavation or Non-Destructive Digging (NDD)?

Vacuum excavation is used on construction sites and infrastructure projects to identify and locate underground assets. NDD is carried out through a process of displacing soil using high-pressure water. Vacuum suction is then applied to remove the mud from the pothole. This is usually carried out by the operator of an NDD or Vacuum Truck with a high-pressure jetter hose fitted with an NDD gun.

PMA Operators Conducting Vacuum Excavation
PMA Operators Conducting Vacuum Excavation

Using water rather than an excavator or other heavy machinery helps locate an asset without causing damage. In the absence of vacuum excavation, any on-site work presents the danger of potentially digging up or damaging cables, pipes and other assets. This can not only result in an expensive repair bill, but also presents a real danger to crews on-site.

A Veteran in Vacuum Excavation

PMA is a veteran in the vacuum excavation space. The PMA team has delivered NDD services on some of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects, like the Western Sydney Airport or the Rozelle Interchange. Additionally, PMA works with utilities to locate assets like water mains for installing water connections and water metres. Then there are the numerous civil construction and road projects that PMA assists with every day, providing NDD services from Melbourne to Maroochydore and beyond.

PMA's Vac Truck at Western Sydney Airport
PMA’s Vac Truck at Western Sydney Airport

As PMA has grown its operation, we have not only refined our team’s vacuum excavation skills but also grown our speciality fleet. This includes the powerful Cappellotto Combo Vac Units – two of which were recently deployed on Brisbane’s South Bank.

A Tricky Operation

South Bank is Brisbane’s premier lifestyle and cultural destination. It features colourful gardens, lush green lawns, a rainforest, a manmade beach, and walking and cycling paths like the Clem Jones Promenade. Delivering vacuum excavation in such a public and treasured space presented the PMA team with some challenges.

Vacuum Excavation in a garden at South Bank, Brisbane
Vacuum Excavation in a garden at South Bank, Brisbane

Underground services needed to be uncovered in a garden bed located near the beach area. The space for a vehicle close to the garden was reasonably tight. PMA employed one of its smaller multipurpose Combo Jet Vac Units fitted with a 6-inch (152 mm) boom to gain closer proximity to the garden area.

Meanwhile, the second PMA crew had to excavate a trench for an electrical conduit to be laid. A Combo Unit was unable to get close to the work zone. It was located on the far side of a large expanse of lawn, next to a play area.

PMA operators vacuum excavate a ditch for conduit to be laid.
PMA operators hydro-excavate a trench for electical conduit to be laid.

Due to the location, more than 45 metres length of vacuum hose was deployed. This was powered by the PMA 8″ Superior Vac Unit by Cappelotto, suited for vacuum loading over longer distances.

These advanced Combo Units, coupled with the substantial experience of PMA’s operators, made for an exceptional result for PMA’s Client.

Learn more about Pipe Management Australia’s extensive capabilities in vacuum excavation or non-destructive digging.

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