What Is Underground Utility Locating?
Underground utility locating refers to the process of identifying and marking the underground infrastructure, such as pipelines, cables, wires, and other utilities, before any excavation or construction work takes place.
The goal is to prevent accidental damage to these vital utilities during construction or digging activities. This process is crucial for ensuring the safety of workers, avoiding service disruptions, and preventing costly repairs.
Underground Utility Locating Tools & Techniques
Some common methods include:
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR):
Ground penetrating radar is a geophysical non-invasive method to aid in identifying underground utilities such as pipes and cables, by utilising radar pulses and creating an image of the subsurface.
This method uses a transmitter and receiver of electromagnetic signals to locate conductive materials, like metal pipes and cables. Learn more about electromagnetic locators.
Radio Frequency (RF) Detection:
RF devices can detect signals emitted by utilities, like communication cables and power lines.
This technique involves using magnetic locators to detect underground utilities of ferrous material, primarily to aid in the detection of metal lids and buried valves.
Acoustic devices listen for sounds generated by water or gas flowing through pipes, helping locate buried pipelines.
Utility Records and Surveys:
Existing utility records such as BYDA (Before You Dig Australia) plans provided by asset owners throughout Australia through the free service and as-built drawings are consulted to gather information about underground infrastructure.
Colour-Coded Marking – AS5488-2022:
Once utilities are located and identified as per Australian Standards (AS5488- 2022), they are surface marked on the ground using the correct colour coding or marked on pvc riser markers & pin flags to indicate utility asset information such utility type, owner, diameter & material.
Vacuum excavation is a method used to safely and efficiently excavate soil and debris using powerful vacuum technology. It eliminates the need for traditional digging methods such as manual labor or heavy machinery.
How The Information Is Used
The information gathered from the utility locating process helps construction crews and excavators avoid costly strikes damaging these utilities, preventing accidents, service interruptions, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations.
It’s an essential step in any construction or excavation project to prevent costly and potentially dangerous incidents.Back to FAQBack to FAQ