Past Jobs

Flooding Open Water Line

Messy Work

Often times work can be messy. At a treatment plant we had to open a water feed pipe to figure out where it ran for our client and their nearby construction. This was so they can avoid breaking water pipes as they digged for their project and they couldn’t find what they were looking for. The red chord going in the pipe is what we used to create the signal for our Ridgid detector device so we could map out where the water ran. Mission accomplished!

Roots in Culvert

Nature Finds A Way

On someone’s private property, there was a culvert that has been plugged over numerous years and one day it rained enough to flood the owner’s driveway. So we used the mini excavator to get access to the culvert and make a drop-off for excess water to prevent future clogging. After we made the drop off, we noticed that roots have grown inside the culvert which gave us the tell-tale on how long the culvert was plugged. Be sure to check your culverts once in a while to make sure they stay clear.


Skunk on the Job

When a fellow vacuum excavation company hired us to help out with a job, we found a skunk at the job site. Don't worry, no skunks were harmed in the making of our business.

Potable Water Line Diagnosis and Jetting

Problem: This drinking water line under a dirt road was struck and broken when somebody (not us) did not dig safely for the electrical. Two months later houses in the neighborhood weren't getting their water.

Solution part I: We first inspected the 3" line with our Drinking Water Camera. What we found was a line half full of heavy gravel that couldn't be flushed from the hydrants. The camera pinpointed the low spot in the line where most of the material had collected.

Solution part II: SFVE daylighted the line at the problem spot, digging with the vacuum to make a safe working area. Then we used sanitized equipment and water to jet 1,000 feet in both directions from that spot, pulling the material out of the line. As the water and gravel flowed out into the pit, we vacuumed it up. The Drinking Water Camera then verified that the lines were clear, and the vacuum maintained the work area while the repairs to the potable water line were done.

Water Line Condition Assessment: Under Pressure

Problem: This is a water main like many in rural New Mexico: made of steel and over 50 years old! The condition and position of a line this age is unknown. That makes it difficult for the Water Dept. of the local community to maintain and repair it.

Solution: Solution: The owners of the utility installed a simple 2” tap in the main (where they had to dig it up to replace a very old valve). Santa Fe Vacuum used this tap to inspect the line with our Drinking Water Camera in three directions as it was in service and under pressure. Within 3 hours, the utility owners had information about their line that had never been known before, including:

  • The depth and position of over 500 ft. of water main from the 2” tap
  • Video proof of two valves exercised and sealed
  • Audio proof that the high-pressure fittings are not leaking after the valve replacement
  • Which section of line was tuberculated and possibly needs to be replaced
  • Which section of line is a high spot where air pockets form

That is a whole lot of valuable information to get in one morning about a line installed in the 1960’s. The video record of this survey will assist the utility owners for years to come as they maintain their system.

Leachate Line Troubleshooting at Roswell Municipal Landfill

Problem: A basketball found its way 115ft down a leachate line at the landfill. Nobody could figure out a way to retrieve it.

Solution: SFVE modified a pneumatic claw to grab and puncture the basketball. We sent both the claw and our SeeSnake sewer camera down the line on a PVC straw. When we reached the ball at 112 ft, we maneuvered it using the camera and the claw closed securely onto it. Then we pulled it right out! This approach solved the problem and did not require any excavation or modification of the leachate line.

We Love Solving Tricky Problems!
Want to know what more about what we can do? Have a look at our services page! Do you have any questions? Feel free to explore our FAQ page!