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The Muskingum County Water Department is adding a new machine to its line-up.
Projects Director Don Madden met with the Muskingum County Commissioners on Thursday for a bid opening on a vacuum excavator. He said the equipment is used in areas where there are other utilities near the water lines.
"This is a large tank mounted on a trailer, and it generates enough vacuum that with the aid of a high-pressure washer, you can actually cut the ground, and it basically will lift the soil and vacuum the soil out of the way so that you can get down and expose the other utilities that are in the area," said Madden.
Madden said using the excavator is a safer way to repair water lines, rather than using a hoe and running the risk of hitting other utility lines. He said the department has tested these machines, and it's cost-effective for his crews to purchase their own excavator.
"This is an item that we had to demonstrate, and we actually rented a couple of units on a limited basis to try them out and see if they were beneficial to the department and how much we would use them," said Madden. "They were something that our crews used extensively this past year in terms of helping us with various projects."
The Muskingum County Water Department's tentative bid is set at just over $38,000. Madden said he hopes the department will be able to start using the excavator as soon as possible.