What Is Daylighting Excavation?

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What Is Daylighting Excavation?

What Is Daylighting Excavation?

When it comes to dealing with sensitive construction operations like oil or gas lines, traditional methods often take much more time to use. They also often require significantly more space. As such, daylighting excavation has become of major interest to switch to. But what is daylighting excavation?

Good question.

We break down everything you need to know about it below to improve future construction projects.

What Is Daylighting Excavation?

Daylighting is the process where underground pipes are exposed to daylight using a hydrovac, truck that precisely sucks up soil and sludge and excavates using a high-pressure, on-board water jet and nozzle.

These hydrovac excavators use a combination of pressure, water, and air to break up soil and suck up debris material surrounding the underground system that needs to be exposed. The resulting debris and soil that is sucked up is most commonly referred to as “slurry” and is stored in the large on-board tank in the rear of a hydrovac truck.

Both the water and vacuum combo work together to provide minimal excavation that is significantly less damaging to the environment than traditional means and more efficient as well.

Gas pipeline being daylighted in winter

Advantages of Using Daylighting for Construction

Although large projects that require extensive above-ground excavation aren’t necessarily well-suited for using daylighting, projects that require precision, timeliness, and minimal environmental impact all fit the bill very well.

Some of the most notable advantages daylighting has include the following:


As we mentioned previously, daylighting using a hydrovac truck has a greater efficiency than traditional methods. It’s easy for them to break up the ground and remove it without using multiple vehicles or methods to do so since one truck can do it all.

Daylighting Is a More Cost-Effective Solution

Because there isn’t a need for additional vehicles and one vehicle can do the work of two, using a hydrovac truck helps save money on projects. Plus, it reduces the length of time a crew needs to work on excavation get a job done.

High Level of Safety

Oil, gas, and electrical lines are highly sensitive and the smallest rupture can create huge problems so safety is of paramount concern. Daylighting always has safety as a top priority and is done by workers who have been trained to be careful and are held to stringent safety standards.

The act of daylighting itself is also safer than traditional methods since excavation can be done precisely and accurately. Thus, excavation is minimal and requires less clean up as well.

A Greater Level of Flexibility

Hydrovac trucks are designed to be able to travel to more remote locations and even frozen areas. Plus, their hoses can reach up to 30m away, so they can access even more hard-to-reach locations.

Clearly, daylighting can be an invaluable way to make your next construction operation that much easier.



Make your next construction job that much more cost-effective. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you with our fleet of hydrovac trucks.