Suction Excavation

This project required new utility connections via the neighbouring street. Typically, these road works would be undertaken by a mini-digger, however the utilities contractor Blu3 employed Carney Construction’s suction excavation lorry to undertake these works which had a string of benefits.

Environmentally, the use of the vacuum excavation can minimise the excavation size compared to alternative means by around a third. Allowing a cleaner and more compact site operation, with less disruption and less waste. All waste collected was diverted from landfill. Inert cohesive clay material was used as restoration fill at an agricultural site and concrete/granular material was processed to be used as secondary aggregates.

The working method also helped reduce the amount of equipment and labour required to undertake the activity, not requiring a mini-excavator or separate waste removal vehicle. It minimised the amount of manual handling required and reduced the likelihood of a utility strike, which could lead to a HSE incident.

The suction excavation method made the operation faster, particularly the duration of ‘noisy work’, this was the preference of the local authority’s Environmental Health Officer. It also helped control dust pollution and excess spoil, which was a concern of the neighbours.

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Entry submitted by Sir Robert McAlpine

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