Found it!

More and more utility construction crews are using potholing on projects to expose utility lines while keeping them safe preventing extended soil damage. Utility potholing uses a portable vacuum excavator or vac-truck instead of a shovel or backhoe to find utility lines during construction or repairs.

Utility potholing is used to locate known utilities below surface level by excavating holes. Workers start with a simple pothole of around 8 to 12 inches in diameter and use a vacuum excavator to dig straight down until the utility is found.

Americom Vacuum excavators are portable pressurized units or larger trucks with an attached holding tank that use air or water to remove soil through high-speed suction when potholing in construction. The displaced wet or dry soil is then stored in a holding tank. By using low-pressure water or air, they are the safest method of digging below ground when utilities are nearby.

Traditionally heavy equipment such as backhoes were used to dig up the surface when attempting to locate utility lines, but using a backhoe to create potholes can destroy the very line they are trying to protect. The force of a metal tool can easily cut through a water or electric line, creating the need for major repairs and a possible emergency placing both workers and bystanders at risk. Shovels are problematic as well as they can slice through electric or phone lines just as easily as a backhoe. Using water or air instead, safely excavates the soil around the utility lines, leaving them intact.

When you want to locate utility lines responsibly without damaging the lines, the best process today is to proceed with a vacuum excavator. Americom Technology has been the Intermountain region underground utility expert for nearly forty years. They know utility construction. Ask about the latest addition to their line of hydro excavation equipment for your next project.