By Kay Braddock
As an apprentice plumber for nearly five years, Josh Helmuth of Terry says he has experienced his fair share of digging in difficult conditions.
Often left hand digging in small cramped quarters, chopping at gumbo dirt, Helmuth pointed out the likelihood of nicking the very utility line intended to be missed increases with each new stab of the shovel.
His innovative hydro excavation service aims to eliminate those nicks, and the aches and pains associated with hand digging.
Helmuth Hydro Excavation has been in operation for just about a month.
“It’s something there’s not a lot of around here. It’s new. It’s becoming more and more necessary,” Helmuth said of the service.
Using high-pressure water his hydro excavator pumper truck removes dirt in normally hard to reach places. The truck holds 200 gallons of water in the pressure washer and has a 550 gallon spoil tank used to store dirt and water removed from the site.
“It sucks it up the same time you’re blasting away the dirt,” Helmuth explained.
Trench widths created by the aggressive blast of water can be as small as 3-inches to as wide as 8-feet. Trenches can go as deep as needed in typical jobs.
The remote controlled hydraulic boom allows the operator to swivel the boom and connected hose around for easy access into difficult areas.
Helmuth says removing dirt using water is safer and easier than hand digging. It can also be a bit messier Helmuth acknowledged, but pointed out hose tips allow for easy clean up on neighboring buildings.
His sideline business, assigned to evenings and weekends, and the hydro excavator pumper truck parked in his driveway have already begun catching the attention of others.
“I get a lot of people that ask me, ‘what does it do?’”
Published April 28, 2010