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Hydro emerging

Hydro emerging

To Facilitate easy and efficient processing of hydro excavation waste, CDE has launched HYDRO:TIP for hydro excavation dewatering in the Australian market.

Although trenchless technology has advanced, and hydro excavation (often also referred to as Non Destructive Digging or NDD) has become a preferred method for the installation of services and pipework in civil engineering, it comes with a costly waste burden for drilling operators.

The by-product of hydro excavation is slurry, often laden with chemicals, which is difficult to dispose of or reuse responsibly due to its substantial volume and weight. With the introduction of CDE’s Hydro:Tip solution to the local market, operators can now process slurry with ease and efficiency.

Often, drilling mud is mixed with bentonite, a soft clay, which is mixed in because it expands to prevent the collapse of an area during drilling. 

While necessary for engineers, it leaves drilling operators with an onerous waste disposal issue at the end – tonnes of waste, clay-logged slurry.

This waterlogged, thick mud and clay by-product is financially prohibitive as operators face high gate fees at landfill sites due to its substantial volume and weight, which is essentially around 70 per cent water. Indeed, some landfills are reluctant to accept this bulky waste at all.

While there are alternative disposal methods, including burying the material in ponds and fields to dry, these approaches come with their own environmental and legal risks due to possible leaching of hydrocarbons or TPH (total petroleum hydrocarbons).

With CDE’s Hydro:Tip, operators can not only handle this waste mud in a cost-effective and responsible manner, they can recover recyclable materials that can be re-sold to generate additional revenue streams.

Suitable for urban environments, Hydro:Tip enables hydro excavation fleets to set up closer to extraction sources to reduce transport time, cost and fuel emissions.

It achieves total landfill diversion with solids recovered from hydro excavation activities being 100 per cent reusable in drainage rock, bedding sand and clays for road base.

It also features an installed power base of 63kW, which is less energy-intensive than a 20 tonne excavator operating at 90kW. In addition, Hydro:Tip dewaters material twice as fast as conventional systems resulting in a reduction of total energy consumption by two-thirds.

It utilises high-frequency screens to ensure maximum dewatering efficiency and separation of waste material. And, as an automated system, it allows tankers to discharge their loads directly into Hydro:Tip, eliminating the need for a plant operator and excavator.

This rapid ‘direct tip’ enables waste material to be processed at the fastest rate possible, minimising downtime and ensuring tanker fleets are fully utilised by getting them back on the road and on their way to the next location.

Most of the functions of CDE’s Hydro:Tip are automated, therefore minimal operator input is required, saving time and cost.

By harnessing the Hydro:Tip solution to process drilled mud at bespoke waste treatment sites, operators can remove the need for a dedicated excavator and operator to dig out pits or mix sawdust for water absorption.

Additionally, it can integrate seamlessly into downstream CDE systems, such as the AggMax, EvoWash and AquaCycle to recover sand and aggregate and recycle process water.

Hydro:Tip has been designed with safe access platforms to enable in-place washout of tankers, while keeping the operator safely out of harm’s way. Its stairs and walkways are standards-compliant, allowing for safe access for inspection and maintenance.

Hydro:Tip comes with standard safety features including isolation systems, emergency stops and guarding, and includes level and position sensors to enable safe-automated running, as well as a clear visual traffic light system to inform the operator of the unit’s readiness and status.

With recent changes in state government landfill levies, dumping behaviour has significantly changed.

This, alongside a high level of hydro excavation operations across Australia, has resulted in a large appetite for the Hydro:Tip’s unique technology.

In the coming months, CDE will install four Hydro:Tip units across Australia.

For more information about CDE and its solutions, visit CDEGlobal.com.

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