From the magazine

Vac excavation gets to the root of the problem

Total Drain Cleaning’s Jet-vac units have been purpose built & fitted with the latest technology and safety products. Total Drain Cleaning’s combination of superior vacuum power and operator experience allows the company to tackle some of the most complex vacuum loading and jobs in the industry.

A damage-proof approach

Total Drain Cleaning was contacted by an energy provider not long after the company had opened for business. Total Drain Cleaning said “The brief was “÷Can you excavate a trench 1 m wide by 2 m deep and 20 m long. Oh and, by the way, you will need to carry out the works next to a 120-year-old heritage listed tree, without damaging any of the root system.’ Well how could we say no! We had the equipment, knowledge and knew the risks involved.

“We had to explain to the client exactly how we would carry out this process and what pressures and volumes would be used. With this said, we got the go-ahead based on our understanding of the job, expertise, equipment capability and WHS/EMS requirements.”

Once Total Drain Cleaning started excavating, the company found the root system to be a very expansive labyrinth and the trench had to be made wider and longer.

In the end, Total Drain Cleaning was able to locate the damaged conduit with no damage to the root system. Additionally, due to the company’s vacuum pressure, it was able to limit
the amount water used and mud produced saving the client valuable
time and money.

Why vacuum excavation?

This method was chosen by the client for two main reasons, the first being that there was a number of services within the vicinity of the damaged conduit. The second was that the tree, which sat virtually on top of the area to be excavated, was heritage listed and strictly not to be damaged.

The benefits provided were that the unit could be parked some distance away from the actual site (due to restrictive access) and hoses run out to the site, no damage was done to the root system of the tree and all other services were able to be completely uncovered without damage

Overcoming challenges

The main project challenge was to locate the damage conduit under the massive root system without cutting any of the roots. For the most part, Total Drain Cleaning was able to use vacuum only – this can only be achieved with superior vacuum, which all of Total Drain Cleaning’s units contain.

Project outcome

Total Drain Cleaning said “The project outcome was that some very nervous engineers were able to breathe again. The damaged conduit was located and repaired and the project was correctly completed.

“The cost of the works was 50 per cent cheaper than the client had allowed for. The non-destructive digging (NDD) component of the works was able to be completed in 9 hours. All member involved were immensely pleased and surprised that such a hole could be achieved by using this method.”

A brief history

Total Drain Cleaning services commenced business in 2008 with one combination unit and one operator, with both its director and operator highly regarded and experienced in the industry. It was soon apparent to clients that Total Drain Cleaning knew what it was doing when it came to all aspects of vacuum loading/NDD work and word quickly spread. The company has now increased its range of services to meet the needs of its current clients and the market in general.

The Company’s focus has always been to work safely, communicate, and go over and beyond the call of duty. This mantra has enabled Total Drain Cleaning to grow into the company it is today.

Total Drain Cleaning now has a number of combination jet-vac units, water recycler units and CCTV units, along with experienced operators and an experienced management team.

Finding the best solution

Total Drain Cleaning can tackle:

  • Drilling mud
  • Stormwater debris
  • Sewer
  • Slurries
  • Wood Chip
  • Sand
  • Filtration Media
  • Dirt

This means the company is ideally suited to clean all types of gross pollutant traps, such as nets, ecosol, silt traps, humeceptor and Rocla CDS units. Additionally, Total Drain Cleaning also cleans stormwater and sewer pits, pumping stations, filtration systems, bins, pits, pipes, culverts, tanks and vessels, as well as responds to environmental road spills.

A Total Service

Total Drain Cleaning has been carrying out NDD since the company opened its doors, gaining more experience on every job.

Total Drain Cleaning said “We have the knowledge and experience to tackle each project ensuring high productivity at reduced costs to the client. All of our combination units have designated NDD pumps that produce a wide range of volume and pressures. This can be done in various ways, which we can explain to clients when contacting our office. We have carried out many different types of NDD for many different applications and fully understand the need to treat each job differently and with care.”

Total Drain Cleaning uses combination units with superior vacuum and large debris tanks, so in most instances the company can dig all day, possibly two days, without having to tip.

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