Mike Arme, owner of Underground Solutions, has become a leader in air excavation technology in Southern California. The company’s service lines have increased based on customer needs, adding ground-penetrating radar scanning and electromagnetic locating and pothole services.

“Our core equipment for excavation is the VACMASTER 4000. We started with one in 2003 and now we have eight,” says Arme.

What makes the air excavation process different is the material that is excavated by the air is usable back in the hole, compacted and backfilled, while a water system creates mud that needs to be disposed of, and you have to bring in dry material to fill.

Arme also chose air because of his location in San Diego — in a beach community you can’t have water enter any spillways. Digging with air eliminates that and is more environmentally friendly. 

The VACMASTERS units give Underground Solutions a competitive edge when bidding jobs because of the lower cost (no disposing of hydroexcavated mud/sludge and trucking in fresh backfill material) and the fact that air excavation is considered safer than using water. 

The highly visible VACMASTERS helped Underground Solutions earn a name for itself early on and have helped the company evolve into a major player in the industry.