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March 23, 2023

Potholing is an essential step in the horizontal directional drilling process. By using soft excavation means, like a vacuum excavator, contracts are able to safely dig down to an existing utility to where it is visible from ground level. Best practices say to excavate to the depth of bore, especially when going under utilities so operators can physically see the drill bit and pipe safely passing under the utility. This is crucial to avoid damage to existing infrastructure, but there is a right way and wrong ways to do it. This presentation will include nozzle and gun considerations to ensure the proper PSI is being used to excavate, along with the correct technique when handling to help protect the various types of utilities being exposed.

Learning Objectives:

1. Explain how a vacuum excavator helps contractors safely dig down to an existing utility 

2. Discuss the best practices and right way to use a vacuum excavator to avoid damaging existing infrastructure 

3. Explain nozzle and gun considerations to ensure proper PSI is being used to excavate

4. Outline the correct techniques to use when handling to help protect different types of utilities being exposed

Speaker:  Chris Thompson, Vacuum Excavation Product Manager at Ditch Witch

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