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Introduction of Hydro Excavation

Melbourne, Docklands

Key Points 

  • Asset strikes are a significant safety issue for civil works in the water sector 
  • In recent years Programmed has moved towards hydro-excavation to minimise asset strikes 
  • Our experience is that hydro-excavation only eliminates assets strikes and has a range of other benefits. 


Asset strikes are a significant safety issue for civil works in the water sector. While strict compliance to the ‘Dial before you dig’ requirement is helpful Programmed knows from experience that this information is often inaccurate because it is out of date. The outcome is that manual excavation regularly leads to asset strikes that pose a significant safety risk for staff and delay repairs.  


For the City West Water contract Programmed has progressively moving towards hydro excavation as its primary excavation method over the last 2 years. Hydro excavation uses a combination of high pressure water and vacuum system to liquidise and remove material around a burst pipe.  


Our experience is that this hydro-excavation eliminates asset strikes and is comparatively much safer than manual excavation. Other benefits include: 

  • Less damage to other infrastructure including gas lines and underground electricity and telephones cables 
  • Jobs can be completed during the day, rather than after-hours or at night  
  • No requirement for advance letter warning or notification giving more efficient rectification  
  • No need to depressurise the main reducing risk of knock on bursts  
  • Avoids discolouration of potable water during recharge. 

Services we delivered
  • Asset Management
  • Facility Management

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