Revolutionizing Hydro-Excavation: PKX’s Sustainable Solution for Efficient Site Management

Revolutionizing Hydro-Excavation: PKX’s Sustainable Solution for Efficient Site Management

PKX is providing customers with a revolutionary new service. The new hydro-excavation recycling system is a sustainable solution that allows hydroexcavation spoils to be captured and processed, including recycling the water back into the hydro excavator, saving valuable natural resources and reducing project costs. Its three-part system allows for job sites to become more efficient, budget-friendly and sustainable.

“The recycler originated with PKX to recycle the spoils from the hydro-vacuums,” said Division Manager Keith Egloff. He said back in 2017, he and Porta Kleen President Adam Black were on a job site and the Canadian TC Energy Corporation—a huge energy producer of oil and gas—approached them with an idea of how to handle the spoils onsite. “They were spending a fortune hauling it away,” Egloff said.

Egloff said the initial design of the hydro recycler was literally drawn on a napkin. The concept caught the attention of some potential clients so Black worked with the engineering crew to create a prototype.

“We have our first one sold,” Egloff said, adding that a unit was sold it to a company in St. Louis, Missouri. “They’re using it to recycle hydrovac slurries and it seems to be successful,” he said. “So now we’re picking up steam.”

Director of Sales Dan Runner explained that the current operating procedure for PKX trucks arriving onsite is to waterjet out the soil, which is vacuumed into the truck. The soil is either dumped into an onsite retaining pond where all the solids drop to the bottom and the water is discharged off the top, or the soil is hauled offsite to a landfill for a stiff fee.

“When driving off site there’s the cost of disposal as well as the time wasted to get there,” Runner said. “So basically, the hydro recycler provides a solution to keep the spoils onsite from the hydroexcavation process and because no chemistry is added to dry the solid material it can be used as clean fill when the project is done.”

The first trailer of the three-trailer system removes the large aggregate, such as gravel or rocks, and then the waste from that trailer goes into the second trailer where hydro-cyclones separate the soil from the water. The water can be treated and reused using an Industrial Water High Solids Clarifier to remove the remaining suspended solids or discharged on site depending on permits and regulations.

“The basic idea is to put equipment on site to be able to process the spoils and not need to transport them off site,” Runner said. “This can be especially important for construction projects with a recycling goal or sites with contaminated soil. Contaminated soil is very costly to dispose of; however, if you are removing it putting it back without any added components it is permitted to be re-used.”

Runner said the hydro recycler is a great market fit with PKX and its customers. “It’s a new technology in its infancy,” he said. “There’s been a lot of interest in the market, and the reception’s been really good. But they’re waiting for us to work the kinks out. It’s a matter of proving the recycler’s effectiveness, and from there I think it’ll take off.”

Egloff said the sales team is meeting with high-profile potential clients to demonstrate the hydro recycler’s capabilities. “We do a lot of show and tell here,” he said.

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