Aside from the obvious fact that hydro excavation uses water while air excavation uses air under pressure, there are differences regarding performance, cost and the ability to manage certain tasks with the help of one of these excavation methods as opposed to the other.
When it comes to digging and pipeline services technology has certainly come a long way. From the initial hydraulic and electric excavators that have been designed, many new methods and excavators have also appeared, including hydro and air excavation.
The main difference between hydro excavation and air excavation is the inertia and mass of the medium used for the excavation process. While water is somewhat heavier and flows more easily, air can be easily dispersed and requires more power in order to be properly focused.
This important difference implies that water is actually a safer choice when it comes to dislodging heavy stones and pieces of soil without damaging nearby tree roots and utility lines. Air, on the other hand, can be more destructive because of the added power it requires and the reduced control it allows. Because of this fact, air excavation can also take longer and cost more, especially when it’s being used for a larger project that requires trickier excavation methods.