By some estimates, approximately 20 million miles of underground infrastructure are below our feet in the U.S. At any given moment, we could be standing above a pipeline, a wire, cable, internet line, or something equally as crucial for maintaining our lifestyles.
As a result, it makes sense for us to rely on underground utility locating services in California and elsewhere in the country to ensure we don’t disrupt this infrastructure during construction works. If you’re about to start shifting earth, take a moment to consider the following information before you get started.
Why Use an Underground Utility Locating Service?
It’s next to impossible to see what’s under the ground before commencing a construction project. Sometimes, it can seem like the only way to find out is by digging, but you run the risk of making costly mistakes that may end up delaying your planning and construction for weeks.
By utilizing underground utility locating services, you avoid that problem altogether. With some of the best technology and teams, you’re able to identify non-metallic and metallic utilities for water, gas, power, cable/TV, and communications. When you know they’re there, you’re in a much better position to avoid them.
Common Utility Locating Methods
Many of the best underground utility locating service providers rely on equipment and tools to detect buried utilities and promote safer excavation methods. Some of these methods include electromagnetic utility location, ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and potholing, also known as hydro vacuum excavation.
Electromagnetic Utility Location
Electromagnetic utility location is the most convenient and effective way to locate anything buried in the earth that generates an electromagnetic radiofrequency.
This allows the service provider to identify conductive materials, such as electrics, telephone wires, cables, water lines, propane lines, and more. However, it’s not used to detect concrete, plastic, and other non-ductile pipes.
Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Ground-penetrating radar is a sensible option if you’re trying to identify non-conductive lines. This form of technology sends a signal through soil, concrete, and asphalt to find a PT cable, utility, or conduit.
Potholing – Hydro Vacuum Excavation
When electronic detection is not appropriate, or you need to learn specific information like material, depth, and line size, utility locating businesses rely on potholing. During this practice, experts excavate a small hole to visually inspect what’s underneath. It’s one of the most precise verification methods.
How to Choose an Underground Utility Locating Service Provider
Due to how costly damaging underground utilities can be, finding a service provider to identify them before your project begins can be crucial. However, there’s value in doing your research to ensure you hire a reputable business to assist.
Find out how long they’ve been involved in underground utility locating and how experienced their team is. This information can give you much-needed peace of mind.
Don’t be afraid to ask what services your preferred company provides to ensure they’re suitable for your needs. Among the most commonly offered are locating, GPR, potholing, CCTV pipe inspection, reporting, and utility mapping. Don’t cut, core, drill, or dig without first exploring your underground utility locating service options. Contact C Below today for a quote or estimate for your next project.