Water-Truck-2

Water trucks for dust suppression

 

Construction sites and open-pit mining operations have long had a reputation of being poor neighbours in their local communities. They are dusty, loud, and an eyesore. The noise they produce can be a major irritant and lead to numerous complaints. However, of greater importance is the potential health-related dangers of the dust they release into the air.

While most people find dust to be annoying when it settles on and dirties vehicles and property; it is the unseen particles, in particular respirable crystalline silica, that have been found to present health and safety risks including cancer. The dangers presented by dust exposure have been found to be so severe that increasingly strict regulations have been implemented as of 1 September 2020. That is, the occupational exposure limits (OEL) for respirable dust and respirable crystalline silica (RCS) have been significantly reduced to 1.5mg/m3 and 0.05mg/m3 respectively by Australian authorities. This poses the question of how to suppress dust levels in the air. One solution is by utilising water trucks.

 

Water trucks for dust suppression

One of the most reliable methods of dust control is by spraying water on the source of dust. Water trucks are utilised to patrol the worksite and cover exposed areas with water to counteract the release of dust into the air. Keeping the surface ground damp helps to prevent equipment operations and vehicular traffic from generating dust and is very beneficial for workers and nearby residences. Specifically, the water is sprayed on the ground using a misting system. These systems can be stationary in problem areas or made mobile by mounting them on trucks or trailers. They come in several varieties depending on how the mist is generated but all function in much the same way.

A misting system generates a fine mist of water which is sprayed into the air. The mist performs two functions that each help control dust pollution. First, the mist itself quickly traps any dust particles that are suspended in the air and settles them to the ground. This stops the particles being carried airborne for long distances and is for the benefit of those nearby (who can actually be quite far away, as airborne dust travels easily). Secondly, the mist produced by the water truck will keeps the soil in the worksite damp and help prevent dust from being generated in the future. These two actions combined have been found to be very effective in controlling particulate pollution; this establishes water trucks as an invaluable resource when dust suppression is needed.

Water trucks are both cost-effective and environmentally friendly when compared to other methods that use synthetic chemicals which can be expensive or damaging to the environment. In particular, chloride is a lasting component of many alternative dust suppressants which can be harmful to both the environment and infrastructure.

If you are in need of a dust suppression solution in the Brisbane, Gladstone or the Mackay areas, Safe Dig can supply your water truck requirements. We have a large fleet of 9,000 – 11,000L tanker trucks that service the Brisbane, and  Mackay areas and are capable of supplying the misting systems for dust suppression for projects large and small.

Our accredited standpipe operators are available round-the-clock to provide projects with dust suppression spraying as well as other services such as vegetation watering. Safe Dig specialised dust suppression units and operators have years of experience in a wide variety of work environments, so contact our team to arrange your dust suppression solution.

 

Why do I need a water truck? Health risks of dust exposure

What are the health risks associated with dust exposure? Few people ever give dust much thought past what gathers around the house. Unless there’s so much dust that they experience breathing or visibility problems, its effect on their health is for the most part ignored. Dust is specifically dry material that is fine enough to become suspended in the air or settle on the ground. As such, many materials can be a constituent of dust. Some of the worst constituents are silica, asbestos and other known carcinogens. Clearly the health risk presented by dust is dependent on what is in the dust.

vacuum-excuvation

How does vacuum excavation work?

Construction, utility work, mining, drilling; as long as man has been walking on two legs, he has been moving earth to reshape his environment and gain advantages from it. In truth, while many other animals may burrow into the ground it is only people who have the capacity to completely reshape their surroundings to suit their needs and garner the bounty that mother earth often has hidden deep within her crust.
The methods used haven’t always been gentle and for most of history excavation work required hard labour and more recently the use of heavy machinery. While more efficient than hand digging earth moving equipment only exacerbates many of the problems associated with manual excavating. It is time consuming, requires a large amount of space to operate in, destructive to the surrounding environment, generates a large amount of pollution and beyond these major concerns the very items that people were trying to be reached were often damaged by the tools and machinery that were being used to unearth them.
With modern methods of vacuum excavation, all of these issues are eliminated. Equipment can be stationed remotely so clutter within the worksite is minimised. Being highly targetable, vacuum excavation causes little to no damage outside of the pit itself and is one of the most efficient methods that can be used to move earth. Because all that is used is highly controllable water and air there is a minimum amount of danger that buried electrical works, piping, sensitive fiber-optic cables or workers will be harmed in any way.
What is vacuum excavation?

Vacuum Excavation is an earth removal process that doesn’t require the use of heavy equipment such as excavators, backhoes or loaders. It also eliminates the need for dump trucks and similar haulers. Digging is accomplished through the use of high-pressure water jets to break up soil, sand and rock creating a slurry which is then removed with a vacuum hose attached to a tanker truck where solids are separated from the water.

Advantages of vacuum excavation

Vacuum excavation offers many advantages over traditional digging methods. Being more precise, it causes less damage to areas surrounding the actual dig site and requires less back-fill. It also eliminates the risk of damaging existing features like water pipes, gas lines, power and fibre optic cables that would normally need to be hand dug around. This also reduces manpower requirements and lowers the risk of costly on the job injuries.

Hydro excavation requires far less equipment than other earth moving methods. Generally, a single truck is operating at any given time. Rather than having the actual digging equipment operating and a means of removing the diggings, the entire operation is contained in a single vehicle. Less equipment means less pollution which is good for the environment. The excavation unit can even be located some distance from the dig site making it possible to work in confined locations where other earth moving equipment would be unable to gain access.
Being a wet process vacuum excavation causes little dust helping to maintain a cleaner worksite and requiring less clean up. Perhaps best of all is the simple truth that vacuum excavation is, in most circumstances, the quickest, most efficient and cost-effective method of soil removal available.

How does vacuum excavation work?

The vacuum excavation process begins with a site assessment. One of the main points of using a Non-destructive digging process like hydro excavation is to deliver maximum results with minimum disturbance. This includes placing the vac truck where it will cause as little disruption to traffic or any other activities in the vicinity.

Once a location is chosen the truck will be parked and any needed hoses and vac lines will put into place. Depending on the location and preference of the client the sod may be removed and saved from the dig site for later replacement.

Once everything is prepared the vacuum and high-pressure pumps will be engaged. The vacuum is provided by either a positive displacement pump or fan system and is much like an industrial sized shop vac. The high-pressure or hydro pump is very similar to those used to wash cars or clean concrete.

Working at extreme velocities and with great force, the water turns the soil into a slurry or thin mud. The pressures used are high enough to dislodge rocks. The vacuum line then draws the mud and debris into the tank on the truck where most of the water is filtered out for reuse and the solids are captured for later disposal.

Hydro or vacuum excavation is the least intrusive, most cost effective and precise method of moving earth available. It is also the safest for both people and the environment. For more information on Non-destructive digging in Queensland including the Mackay, Gladstone and Brisbane areas, contact SafeDig Services today.

How does vacuum excavation work?

Construction, utility work, mining, drilling; as long as man has been walking on two legs, he has been moving earth to reshape his environment and gain advantages from it. In truth, while many other animals may burrow into the ground it is only people who have the capacity to completely reshape their surroundings to suit their needs and garner the bounty that mother earth often has hidden deep within her crust.
The methods used haven’t always been gentle and for most of history excavation work required hard labour and more recently the use of heavy machinery. While more efficient than hand digging earth moving equipment only exacerbates many of the problems associated with manual excavating. It is time consuming, requires a large amount of space to operate in, destructive to the surrounding environment, generates a large amount of pollution and beyond these major concerns the very items that people were trying to be reached were often damaged by the tools and machinery that were being used to unearth them.
With modern methods of vacuum excavation, all of these issues are eliminated. Equipment can be stationed remotely so clutter within the worksite is minimised. Being highly targetable, vacuum excavation causes little to no damage outside of the pit itself and is one of the most efficient methods that can be used to move earth. Because all that is used is highly controllable water and air there is a minimum amount of danger that buried electrical works, piping, sensitive fiber-optic cables or workers will be harmed in any way.

What is vacuum excavation?

Vacuum Excavation is an earth removal process that doesn’t require the use of heavy equipment such as excavators, backhoes or loaders. It also eliminates the need for dump trucks and similar haulers. Digging is accomplished through the use of high-pressure water jets to break up soil, sand and rock creating a slurry which is then removed with a vacuum hose attached to a tanker truck where solids are separated from the water.

Advantages of vacuum excavation

Vacuum excavation offers many advantages over traditional digging methods. Being more precise, it causes less damage to areas surrounding the actual dig site and requires less back-fill. It also eliminates the risk of damaging existing features like water pipes, gas lines, power and fibre optic cables that would normally need to be hand dug around. This also reduces manpower requirements and lowers the risk of costly on the job injuries.

Hydro excavation requires far less equipment than other earth moving methods. Generally, a single truck is operating at any given time. Rather than having the actual digging equipment operating and a means of removing the diggings, the entire operation is contained in a single vehicle. Less equipment means less pollution which is good for the environment. The excavation unit can even be located some distance from the dig site making it possible to work in confined locations where other earth moving equipment would be unable to gain access.
Being a wet process vacuum excavation causes little dust helping to maintain a cleaner worksite and requiring less clean up. Perhaps best of all is the simple truth that vacuum excavation is, in most circumstances, the quickest, most efficient and cost-effective method of soil removal available.

How does vacuum excavation work?

The vacuum excavation process begins with a site assessment. One of the main points of using a Non-destructive digging process like hydro excavation is to deliver maximum results with minimum disturbance. This includes placing the vac truck where it will cause as little disruption to traffic or any other activities in the vicinity.
Once a location is chosen the truck will be parked and any needed hoses and vac lines will put into place. Depending on the location and preference of the client the sod may be removed and saved from the dig site for later replacement.

Once everything is prepared the vacuum and high-pressure pumps will be engaged. The vacuum is provided by either a positive displacement pump or fan system and is much like an industrial sized shop vac. The high-pressure or hydro pump is very similar to those used to wash cars or clean concrete.

Working at extreme velocities and with great force, the water turns the soil into a slurry or thin mud. The pressures used are high enough to dislodge rocks. The vacuum line then draws the mud and debris into the tank on the truck where most of the water is filtered out for reuse and the solids are captured for later disposal.

Hydro or vacuum excavation is the least intrusive, most cost effective and precise method of moving earth available. It is also the safest for both people and the environment. For more information on Non-destructive digging in Queensland including the Mackay and Brisbane areas, contact SafeDig Services today.

safety helmets

Construction Sites; Why Safety Is Pivotal

Why Safety Must Always Be Considered At Construction Sites

According to the most recent OSHA statistics, workplace injuries cost the Australian economy over $61 billion annually. This is their direct impact and does not take into account the ancillary effect that they have on people, companies and communities. Workplace injuries and diseases have a trickle-down effect that not only changes the lives of the workers involved but can lead to company closures and loss of jobs in their area of operations. At a minimum, they cause an increase in expenses such as workers compensation insurance and a decrease in worker productivity.

Sadly, the lions share of these incidents happen within the construction industry with 63,230 worker injuries and 899 deaths being reported in 2018. That is almost 20 percent of all reported worker fatalities in the country and a similar percentage of accidents.

While some might see these numbers as an indictment of construction companies and building practices, in general, the honest truth is that construction work is inherently dangerous. On any given site every type of possible hazard might be present at some time and most such as slip and fall hazards, large equipment in motion and airborne particulate hazards are a constant companion. Add to this the fact a construction site is a highly animated environment where things are constantly changing and in motion and it is easy to understand how accidents do frequently occur despite everyone’s best intentions.

This doesn’t mean that is not room for improvements and a Zero Harm working environment should always be the goal of every contracting company. Not just for the benefit of their employees but for the economic advantages that it brings as well.
The elimination of workplace injuries increases the productivity of workers, prevents client annoying scheduling delays, and in extreme cases greatly lessens the chances of a company killing lawsuits or OSHA actions.

To help aid in the quest for zero lost time accidents new technologies are being developed every day and new uses are being found for tools that have been with us for years. A case in point is the recent developments in vacuum excavation.

Origins of vacuum excavation

Most people associate the basic principles behind vacuum excavation with the placer mining techniques used in the 1800s but it was actually the Romans who first used water under pressure to move earth. The mining industry rediscovered the power of this method during the California gold rush in the United States.

In the late 1970 trucks were developed to use suction to remove septage from tanks and to empty slurry from industrial waste pits. By the 80s jet, trucks had been developed to clear blockages from underground pipes. Then in 1993, the idea of using water pressure as a digging tool was paired with the idea of using suction to remove the debris and vacuum excavation was born.

How can vacuum excavation improve safety?

17 percent of all workplace injuries in the construction industry are the result of people being hit by moving equipment like excavators and loaders. When vacuum excavation methods are used the equipment is only in motion when being set up or leaving the worksite. Other than that, only hoses and personnel are in motion. No moving equipment precludes someone being struck.

Over one-third of all construction injuries involve muscle strain or some other type of body stress. Suction excavation doesn’t require any shovel work to be done by hand greatly reducing the chances of a labourer developing strains and sprains.
Both of the injury types just mentioned become more likely when work must be performed in a confined area where there is very little margin for error. Tight spaces are an issue that hydro excavation excels at. The trucks can be parked in an open area and hoses run to the actual dig site.

Inside an excavation site is one of the most dangerous places a construction worker can be required to work. Even with modern shoring methods many accidents minor and major still occur each year. Vacuum excavator operators are not normally required to enter a dig site. They work remotely from the surface. This eliminates the chances of them becoming the victim of a cave-in.

Vacuum digging removes the excavated material from the worksite helping to eliminate clutter, improve visibility and improving the overall safety of the project site.

There is no such thing as a minor injury on a construction site. All reportable incidents impact worker morale and a company’s safety record. At a minimum, a company should have a documented comprehensive safety plan to protect themselves from regulatory issues. The wise contractor makes use of all possible tools made available to them to protect themselves and their people.

From the simple things like toolbox meetings as each shift comes into making use of the latest and safest technology available to accomplish each task at hand there are no small steps that can be overlooked. One misstep is all it can take to change a company’s fortunes forever.

vacuum truck

Why Is Vacuum Excavation the Preferred Method of Excavation in Australia?

Excavation work has always been problematic. Whether it is something as simple as planting a tree in your yard or as complicated as a remediation project anytime you start to break soul with traditional methods there are risks and safety issues that must always be taken into account. The pick and shovel method often expose people to dangerous working conditions and is a labour-intensive method to move soil. It has often been employed as a method of last resort though when working space is limited.

Heavy equipment like track hoes, backhoes and excavators cannot avoid contributing to noise pollution, air pollution and environmental damage to some extent. Added to these risks is the ever-present danger of damaging utility pipes and cabling or causing irreparable harm to heritage flora. In the proper environment, they are capable of moving a large amount of earth quickly but generate a lot of airborne particulate matter and require space to operate and an area to deposit the material they move causing further unsightly damage to their surroundings. Of course, this was all before the development of vacuum excavation methods and the specialized equipment it employees.

As with any earth moving procedure, vacuum excavation is not necessarily the best option under all circumstances but when properly employed, in the correct manner, by trained professionals it can bring distinct advantages to some portion of virtually any excavation site.

What is vacuum excavation

Vacuum Excavation is also known as hydro excavation or non-destructive digging and is a very simple process to understand. Most people, at some point in their lives, have seen the same principle displayed from a common garden hose. You spray it on the ground and you end up with a muddy hole. Non-destructive digging applies this same principle on a much larger scale.

Unlike more traditional methods of digging, it doesn’t rely on the impact power or the cutting force that can be generated by hydraulic or pneumatic machinery but it does have the ability to move massive amounts of earth quickly. Nor does it require the muscle power of hand digging yet it can provide even better precision and safety around obstructions.

Vacuum excavation uses precision jets of high-pressure water to loosen and move clay, sand, rock and soil. Almost all underground utilities are impervious to water so there is no need to worry about damaging any piping or cables that may be buried in the area. Because hydro excavation uses dirt’s natural tendency to absorb moister and then flow rather than a cutting process there is also no need to worry about damaging the root systems of trees or even most larger shrubbery.

As the water jet breaks up and combines with the soil contents it flows and is then vacuumed out of the excavation and into a holding truck. This eliminates the need for there to be unsightly dirt piles that cause further environmental damage.

Advantages of hydro excavation

Vacuum excavation offers many advantages over traditional digging methods beyond those listed above. Here is a partial list to give you a few ideas.

  • It allows underground assets to be uncovered with minimal disturbance of the surrounding area and next to no chance of causing damage to the works being uncovered. This makes it an ideal process for utility work, especially in congested urban areas.
  • Because the pressure head and vacuum hoses can be operated remotely from the dig site there is no need to clear an area or perform demolition work in order to make room for heavy equipment. Making it ideal for locations with minimum available space or where the surrounding property or road face needs to be protected.
  • Because it is a wet procedure hydro excavation doesn’t generate the dust and other particulate air pollution that more traditional digging methods cause. For areas where people may allergy or other respiratory concerns this could be a big plus.
  • In all but the most extreme excavations, there is no need for personnel to actually enter the dig. This greatly reduces the chances of injuries, lowers liability concerns and increases worker safety.
  • Vacuum excavation is up to ten times faster than the traditional hand digging required in areas where underground utility works or root systems that need to be preserved are located. This added efficiency reduces the time to complete a project and will in most cases equate to a cost savings to the end customer.

Why Is Vacuum Excavation Now the Preferred Method of Excavation in Australia? The simple answer is because it is a gentler, more cost-effective, less invasive and safer way of excavating a site. It reduces pollution, minimizes site impact and helps preserve the surrounding environment. In short, it is superior to traditional digging methods in almost any way.

If you need any type of excavation work performed in the Brisbane, Gladstone or Mackay areas contact SafeDig Services for a consultation.

safedig vacuum truck fleet

Safe Dig Featured in Trenchless Australasia

IN THE MEDIA

THE SAFE CHOICE

With offices in Brisbane, Gladstone and Mackay, Safe Dig Services serves its clients – including the mining and rail sectors – throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast, Whitsundays, regional Queensland and New South Wales. The company has recently acquired new vacuum trucks, bringing the total in its fleet to 15, in addition to other construction and excavation machinery.

VACUUM & HYDRO EXCAVATION
Safe Dig Services provides the Australian construction industry with end-to-end capabilities, including project management on a variety of developments. Safe Dig Services specialises in vacuum excavation and pipe management services, with specific experience in the rail infrastructure industry. Safe Dig Services also offers service location as one of Queensland’s only Telstra-accredited location providers, pipe jetting, culvert cleaning and other civil services. Safe Dig Services is proud of its ability to not only service some of Australia’s largest companies, including Aurizon, CPB, Lendlease and Downer, but also provide friendly, personalised service for private landowners and residents.

HISTORY
Safe Dig Services was founded in 1994 by Managing Director Michael Vidler. The acquisition of the company’s first truck coincided with Safe Dig Services participating in cable laying and trenching works for the telecommunications industry. Since 1994, Safe Dig Services has emphasised the need for customer service, guided by leadership and training from the company’s Directors. This has enabled a progression of steady growth, leading to Safe Dig Services attracting customers and solidifying the solid foundations of the company. After years of experience in th telecommunications industry, Safe Dig Services recognised a niche in the general vacuum excavation industry and began to target the wider area, providing vacuum excavation to the construction, rail transport, plumbing and local government industries.

 

 

jetting

How to fix blocked drains or blocked pipes

People often ask us the best way to clear a blocked drain or pipe. They’ve tried everything – Draino, spiral tools, drain snakes and every technique in the book. Sometimes they’re sick of the smell, ready to give up and dig the entire pipe out for replacement.

But there’s an easier, safer and cheaper option than digging up trenches and making all that mess! Safe Dig’s high-pressure jetting units clear blocked drains with ease, with an output pressure of over 2500PSI. Better yet, we’ve got a unit to suit every application – small trucks, large trucks and jetting trailers, even a water tanker and jetter combo for long-lasting jetting power.

So what is jetting?

Jetting is basically a high-pressure water blast, designed to vaporise any debris or clogging material from a pipe. Clean up is easy too! Using our powerful vacuum excavation trucks, we’re able to find the next access point in the pipe and remove excess liquid/silt/blockage if necessary. This makes it particularly useful for unblocking of stormwater drains, cleaning grease traps or flushing out pits.

pipe jetting

Safe Dig also have multiple jetting nozzles, tips which attach to our jetting rods. These jetters are specifically designed for different tasks, including cutting tips for tree-roots, spiralling tips for further-reach and multi-directional nozzles which actively push the jetting nozzle further into the pipe to clear blockages. Our capabilities extend beyond pipe and pit, and we even have nozzles for high-pressure cleaning of graffiti, bin cleaning, pit cleans, pit flushes and sewerage pump outs.
Our jetting work is also exceptionally helpful in recent work with city councils cleaning gross pollutant traps and grease traps, removing waste and debris from your local stormwater system and keeping pollution out of our waterways.

pipe jetting in action

Safe Dig specialise in jetting services and have been servicing everyone from major city councils and large international corporations, down to small plumbing businesses and residential landowners. Our offices in Brisbane, Gladstone and Mackay enable us to be highly versatile and service all of Queensland. Our qualified and trustworthy staff are accredited in many aspects of the business and, coupled with our fleet of over 30 vacuum trucks and civil equipment machinery, we are highly capable of completing any task you require. Our fleet includes a variety of equipment including vacuum trucks excavators, combination units, recycling units, remote control diggers and more.

Give us a ring today on (07) 3376 0856 to book in your next jetting job – let us help solve your pipe problems.

underground service Loçocate

Underground Utility Location Services

Whether you’re a home builder, architect, surveyor, electrician, fence builder, landscaper or Tier 1 construction company building a new road, identifying and marking out underground utilities on your project site is essential to avoid damage and costly delays with public and private services.

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VACUUM EXCAVATION TRUCK

What is a Vacuum Excavation Truck?

Maybe you have seen our Vacuum Excavation Truck throughout Brisbane, Gladstone, Rockhampton, or Mackay and wondered what exactly is this impressive piece of machinery.

Looking like some kind of hybrid fire truck, it is common that our vacuum excavation trucks raise an eyebrow or two while on the road or on-site performing a vacuum excavation.

Just like a fire truck, our Vacuum excavation trucks can pump water; in fact Safe Dig vacuum excavation trucks carry 2000 L of fresh water with a fire fighter pump installed for blasting. Where our vacuum excavation trucks differ however is that they also have installed a high pressure vacuum which we use to clean out everything from trenches to conduits and pipes.

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Ground Penetrating Radar

Benefits of using Ground Penetrating Radar

When it comes to surveying and mapping your project site, fully understanding it’s underground utilities, either indoors with a concrete slab or outdoors before commencing work is a must. Using the latest Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology, Safe Dig’s GPR is the only non- intrusive method that can determine non-metallic or non-conductive underground services such as plastic water and gas lines, concrete, terracotta, asphalt, composite pipes and even direct-buried fibre optics.
GPR is in principle similar to sonar devices used on boats; the receiver detects the “back- scattered” signal, records it and displays a live image on a screen indicating the depth and position of the object or pipe. Coupled with vacuum excavation, GPR is remarkable technology for construction sites.

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