If you're trying to install structures on your land like fences, you may not realize that you still have to locate all the utility lines underground. Fence posts don't sound like they'd be so destructive, but digging holes for them can run deep enough to accidentally run into a pipe. Rather than taking the chance on hitting a gas or water line with a shovel or post-hole digger, call a hydrovac company for quick and safe excavation, especially if you are dealing with dry clay soil.
No Cutting in Line
Utility line depths vary, but a general rule is that any digging that requires you go deeper than 6 inches into the ground should not be done before locating utility lines. You risk chopping electrical wiring, fiberoptic cables, gas lines, and water lines if you blindly dig in.
All Dried Up
Dry clay soil is really hard, to the point that it can be like cement. People trying to dig through the clay can often take some very drastic steps to blast through so they can put in fence posts and other structures. But that just makes the utility line problem worse because you risk destroying the line, and not just merely cutting into it.
Hydrovac excavation solves both problems. It can gently moisten and remove the soil without harming the lines below, and it can be used to find the lines to begin with. It's typically used in more extensive building efforts where lines need to be exposed, and not just located. But the water used in the process can effectively remove soil that won't otherwise budge. The water also washes the soil away from the lines but is not strong enough to actually break into the lines' protective housing. Use the hydrovac process to moisten an area of soil, and then concentrate on the spots in which you want the fence posts or other structures.
The Early Bird Gets the Carefully Excavated Soil
Be aware that even powerful hydroexcavation can take a while if the soil is very, very dry. The water needs time to soak in, and it will soak in only so deep before the dryness of the soil overwhelms it. Contact hydrovac companies at least a few days before you want to get the structure in question installed so that they have time to work on the ground.
Once the excavation is done and you've got the post in, you can fill in the space around the post with extra soil or concrete. Hydrovac work doesn't have to take up a large area, so even if you have a small yard or a small piece of land, you don't have to disturb a lot of the surface to get the work done.
If you'd like more information about how hydrovac excavation can break through tough soil and locate utility lines, contact a hydrovac company near you as soon as you can. The faster you can get the company out to the property, the sooner they can start the work.