University of Central Florida Utilizes Vacuum Excavation

University of Central Florida (UCF) utility workers handle daily initiatives that include identifying and mapping the location of underground utility lines.

“We have a lot of old utility lines in the ground that haven’t been located in many decades. They have never been marked properly, and it is our job to find them, mark them, and put them on the map.

Finding those lines can be time consuming and intrusive to the property. But the biggest obstacle when you are part of the utility crew is safety. You don’t want to hit electrical lines with a shovel,” said Anthony Lugo, UFC Utility Supervisor.

The utility crew is also responsible for emergency water line breaks. “Prepping the area for a water line break repair is a tedious job and time is of the essence,” Lugo added.


Upgrading from traditional methods of excavation, an excavator or hand shovel, Vac-Tron AIR unit PLUS has greatly increased efficiency for the UCF utility crew. “It made things faster, it made things safer. It saves us a lot of time. What used to take four-six hours, now only takes one-two hours. We aren’t spending any unnecessary time doing a job,” Lugo explained. “The biggest thing is safety; safety is the key aspect. The vacuum excavation unit allows us to be safe in an expedited fashion. This is considered soft digging, which is just basically pulling the dirt out of the ground so you’re not striking anything. You could hit a high voltage electrical line, high pressure water or gas line, any number of things, and the unit helps to eliminate that.”


  • Potholing quickly locates old utility lines for identification and mapping
  • Project timelines reduced from four-six hours to one-two hours
  • Utility crews respond more quickly to water line breaks
  • Repairs are affected more quickly with the power of the vacuum excavator removing debris
  • Storm drains are cleaned more efficiently
  • Wastewater spills are quickly cleaned up
  • Less intrusive to the campus’ infrastructure
  • Less disruption to the environment

Multiple departments at UCF are also using the vacuum excavation unit, from the Landscaping and Recreation crew using it to clean out storm drains, to the Design and Construction team requesting it to locate lines for future construction on the campus.

“This has been a godsend because we can actually find things without being as intrusive to the campus’ infrastructure. For the value we are getting, it has turned out to be priceless,” added Lugo.

Brian Showley is Vice President for Vac-Tron Equipment. To learn more, visit


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