Step-By-Step Guide To Excavation In Perth

Excavation in Perth

Excavation requires skill, patience and careful planning. In Perth, the method of excavation is usually determined by the type of material being cleared and the purpose of the excavation. For instance, if you need to remove soil to access utility pipes or cables, you would choose a vacuum excavation. We’ll cover this in more detail later.

If you don’t choose the right method of excavation, the risk of damaging surrounding structures increases. It’s not only structures you need to be aware of – you may also increase the risk of injury to your workers.

If you’re in charge of an excavation project in Perth and you want to ensure it runs smoothly, keep reading our step-by-step guide.

Locate Underground Utilities


When you undertake any kind of excavation or earthmoving, there is a high probability that you’ll encounter underground utilities. So, before you start any digging you should employ an underground utility location service. Relying on reference plans is fraught with danger, the only way to really identify possible hazards is with an accredited locator like Abaxa.

Using the latest technology, your utility locator will provide the location of all cables, pipes and utility services. Some of the utility services that can be identified include:

  • Electric power 
  • Traffic signals
  • Communications cables and fibre optic
  • Gas, oil steam, petroleum
  • Water 
  • Stormwater and council drains
  • Sanitary sewer
  • Reclaimed water and irrigation

Safety-First Excavation Plan


If cables or pipes have been identified as present, you would naturally opt for one of the safest methods of excavation – vacuum excavation. Eliminating the need for large machinery digging up the earth means you dramatically decrease your risk of damaging underground structures. With vacuum excavation, a small area of the surface is exposed and a high-powered vacuum removes all the dirt. 

The soil removed is stored in a secure tank, meaning that there is minimal dust or disturbance on site. More importantly, the chance of damaging any surrounding pipes or cables is almost nil. It’s important to remember that preventing physical damage to surrounding structures means you’re also preventing lengthy delays, added costs and potential injury.  

Competent Excavation Supervisor


With so many moving parts on a worksite, it’s vital that you have someone competent in charge. The WA Code of Practice states that you must employ a person who has extensive experience of the code and has the necessary capabilities to ensure excavation work is carried out correctly

When undertaking more complex excavation and earthmoving work, a qualified engineer may be required. This is usually when excavating an area that is:

  • Deeper than six metres
  • Next to ponded water
  • In soil with variable ground conditions
  • Involving complex de-watering
  • Requires evaluation of ground support systems

Variable Excavation Costs

Vacuum Excavation

Several factors can cause costs to fluctuate during an excavation. 


Difficult to access sites can affect evacuation rates and as well as the location of the excavation – metro, suburban or rural.


The size, type and difficulty of the project all play a factor in the final cost. Excavating in a high-density area like the Perth CBD will require more delicate planning than a residential backyard. 


Using a vacuum excavation method, compared to conventional digging with large machinery, will reduce your costs as the hydro excavation method requires less manpower.

If you’re about to undertake an excavation project and need advice, contact Abaxa. With 30 years in the industry, Abaxa understands the advantages of vacuum excavation and how beneficial it is, both for safety and efficiency, 

Remember, Abaxa is Perth’s vacuum excavation specialists. Our team of expert contractors can answer any questions and will provide the solutions you need for your project.

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