When digging to expose utility lines, it’s important to have the right equipment to prevent expensive mishaps. While some construction and boring companies work with shovels, we use highly effective hydrovac excavators instead. Does it really make a difference? It does, and we will tell you why.

Potholing Utilities

So, what is utility potholing? It’s the method in which hydrovac excavators are used to expose utility lines underground. This equipment was originally used to clean septic tanks or remove slurry from horizontal directional drilling projects, but contractors are now realizing that they have a wide range of other uses such as potholing and cleaning valve boxes.

The excavators are self-contained machines that use pressurized water to remove soil, turning it into wet soil that is then stored in a holding tank after being removed with a high-velocity suction hose. Excavators can be mounted on the back of a truck or trailer for easy transport and range in size from 100 to 1,200 gallons in capacity.

Why Hydrovac Is Better

Today’s locators are more accurate than in the past but knowing exactly where a line or pipe is located is still beyond their capabilities. Digging utility holes with a backhoe can be dangerous and expensive if you accidentally damage the lines, and even a shovel can easily cut through a fiber optic or cable line. By using hydrovac equipment for potholing utilities in Colorado instead, with non-damaging pressure, you can easily expose the lines without causing damage.

Choosing the Best System

Always choose a unit with a good-quality blower and a tank large enough to hold at least a half day’s worth of soil. It means more time spent on the job site and less travel time to dump the holding tank. If the area has cobble rock, a 4-inch hose and a larger blower are best to effectively remove the soil. The large-diameter hose will keep it from clogging. However, a 3-inch hose will work well in areas without rocks. A good filtration system is also needed to filter the soil and keep the unit from clogging and you should be sure your trailer frame can handle the weight of the unit once the soil tank is full.


While a hydrovac unit certainly costs more simply digging with a backhoe, it can save you a lot of trouble and money in the long run. If you were to hit a gas line with a backhoe, it could be incredibly dangerous. Hitting a water line could put a hospital or nursing home out of business until it could be fixed. By finding your utilities safely ahead of time, you can save yourself the cost of shutting down for a day or more. When you’re looking to expose utility lines, utility potholing in Colorado using hydrovac systems is the safest way to do so.

Contact the professionals at Advanced Line Systems today for all of your hydrovac and directional drilling needs!

We offer free estimates and proudly provide service to Laramie, Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, Greeley, Oklahoma City, and Salt Lake City plus many surrounding areas throughout Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.

Call: 303-475-8420 | Email: advancedlinesystems@boretherockies.com