General Tips for Locating Underground Utilities

When you are looking for any type of underground infrastructure, from sewer lines to fiber optic cables, the most important aspect of your search is having complete accuracy in order to find them.  In order to have accuracy, the city can be of assistance to find out about main water lines, along with using the right equipment above ground.  After definitive infrastructures have been established they have to be inspected and then checked continuously throughout the excavation process to be sure there is no guesswork involved in properly completing the job.  Here are four tips to assist when locating underground utilities.    

  1. For Residential Areas – Map the Entire House to the Main Line

Since everything is underground, this information is usually available online in most city areas with city website maps or some cities will redirect you to the local department of water and power.  For more rural areas, the information above in the first tip will likely be of assistance.  For example, in the city of Los Angeles, a map shows the sewer system main lines and the direction it flows throughout most areas of the city.  An important piece of information that will need to be determined is how long and deep the property line connection is to your home.  This can be determined from a city utility map or perhaps by calling 811.  

  1.  Determine Where Excavation Should Begin and End Plus Obstacles

Before any action is taken to dig, all work completed will depend on your location whether it be rural or urban.  If your repair is rural, you will likely have fewer obstacles in your way such as neighbors driveways, sidewalks, etc.  However, if your location is urban, this is something to be on the lookout for when trenching.  The first process of mapping out the area is so key that it can take a bit of time.  It is good to remember that the sooner you can map out the right spot to dig, the sooner you can get on with the process of inspecting and then trenching which also can take time to complete.

  1. Look For A Utility Location Service That Has The Right Tools

If you are looking for complete accuracy in finding the underground utilities in your area, there are usually utility location service companies that can also find out for you depending on where you are located.  These companies have the right electromagnetic location equipment to avoid any risks in the excavation process.  Without the right tools, it is complete guesswork to try and find out where the lines are located underground.  There have been great advancements in technology that will help prevent unexpected collisions with existing lines below ground.  All knowledge is acquired above ground with electromagnetic equipment or ground penetrating radar that takes measurements through many of earth’s surfaces.

All in all, the main reason why accuracy is so important in finding utility lines underground is that you do not want to cause an environmental hazard for yourself, family, neighbors, or the city.  Once a major mistake is made it is not always easy to repair and the results of a minor one can be a disaster for many people.  It is best to hire a professional that has experience performing this type of work, fact-checking, and a general knowledge of utility lines in the area.    

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *