BarhaleWSP were involved in the installation of a foul water pipe in close proximity to a protected Sycamore tree at a development site in Leeds. The Middlemarch Arboricultural Team were contacted to provide pragmatic advice on preventing harm to the protected tree during the works. In consultation with the client it was determined that vacuum excavation was the most appropriate method.
Vacuum excavation of soil uses a high power vacuum suction system. Firstly a jet of air (delivered via an air-spade)is used to loosen soils. The soil is extracted through an air vacuum hose which transports it to a spoil/debris tank for later disposal or backfilling. The use of this technique allowed tree roots to be exposed and therefore avoided (and not damaged) during the installation of the pipe. The pipe was successfully installed without any harm to the tree.