Underground utility locating services are needed to avoid potential project delays, costly errors, and legal action. Before starting a project that involves coring or digging, you will need to check where utility lines are located. Otherwise, you run the risk of disrupting these service lines and causing gas, water, or sewer leaks and other hazards that may result in injury.
It is essential to employ sophisticated tools and methods of finding underground utilities to prevent these negative scenarios.
What Does a Utility Locating Service Do?
When it comes to accurate utility locating, project owners will need to look for a reliable third-party service provider equipped with the right tools and equipment for the job. Accuracy is critical in scanning for underground public and private utility lines.
Having a service provider with the right expertise will help you uncover unmarked utility lines quickly. These may include water and gas pipelines, telephone and cable wires, as well as storm drains and septic pipes. In some cases, project managers may overlook these utility lines. However, accurate information is needed to identify where these lines are so contractors can make appropriate decisions and adjustments to ensure the project’s success.
Why Call a Utility Locating Service for your Project?
Contractors must contact a public utility locating service to supervise the task and provide support due to potentially limited information in client communications or site records. If ignored, unused or deep-seated utility lines may be missed, escalating the risk of damage and injury.
Using electromagnetic locating tools and strategies, private utility locating contractors are able to scan the entire worksite, apply standard markings, and compare the data to existing public records. The service provider will then furnish a complete report based on the quality of information required by the project owner.
The Four Quality Levels of Underground Utility Information
A private locating service provider tasked to map the project area will provide data pertaining to existing and unused utility lines. In accordance with the American Society of Civil Engineers’ guidance on subsurface utilities, the four levels of information quality are:
Being the most basic level, Level D information is limited to public records and word-of-mouth. Although information taken from these sources is essential to initial project planning, it does not provide the most detailed picture.
At this level, utility data is gathered by observing physical utility features such as manholes and valve boxes. Markings left by public utility providers are also taken into account. As such, Level C information is limited only to visible utilities.
Information is obtained through the application of appropriate surface locating methods to determine the existence and approximate horizontal position of subsurface utilities. Quality level B data should be reproducible by surface locating methods at any point of their depiction. This information is depicted to applicable tolerances defined by the project and reduced onto plan documents.
Considered the highest quality information, Level A provides a highly accurate report on the features and underground utility lines that have been identified from Levels D to B. Precise horizontal location of utilities obtained by the actual exposure and subsequent measurement of subsurface utilities, usually at a specific point. Minimally intrusive excavation equipment is typically used to minimize the potential for utility damage. Precise horizontal and vertical location, as well as other utility attributes, is shown on the plan documents.
Cut Project Costs and Prevent Injury and Damage
Get a private utility locating service that uses advanced utility scanning equipment and methods so you can proceed without the risk of injury or damage.
For personal, at home underground projects, reaching out to DigAlert is a simple solution.
Find a California Utility Locating Service
Are you planning a construction or development project in California?
C Below provides subsurface imaging and locating services to give you a complete picture of your project site when public records seem inadequate. Our primary utility investigation services include utility potholing, utility mapping, and CCTV and video pipe inspection using state-of-the-art technology for contractors and homeowners throughout Central to Southern California.
Want to find out more? Request a quote today or contact us to learn how we can help you.