5 Myths About Utility Mapping

utility mapping

There are a number of cables, pipes, and other conduits beneath your feet that carry gas, electricity, water, and digital information. As a result, site planning for development and design projects has become even more crucial, not only to extend the utility lines’ lives, but also to provide uninterrupted views.

A project can be kept on track if you are familiar with the location of buried utilities before you start construction. During the early planning stages, knowing the locations of utilities is often crucial, depending on the scope of your project. Then, you can develop your site plan and determine the feasibility of your project in the most cost-effective manner.

You should always locate utilities accordingly when planning your next project, even though they are a bit misunderstood. The following information will ensure a smooth and successful construction project by dispelling a few common misconceptions about utility mapping.

1. Pre-Existing Utility Maps Are Reliable

The utility map you have of your property may seem reliable, but it may not include older lines that weren’t recorded at the time the map was made. The map may not include any utility lines that have been built since it was created.

Using a utility map alone is not always a good idea, since they are not always completely accurate and can be misinterpreted. Prior to any excavation or drilling, utility marking needs to be done, even if you believe the map is accurate.

2. Mapping & Locating Utility Assets is Accurate

Despite its improvements over the last few decades, utility locating remains an imperfect science. It is possible for readings to be inaccurate for a variety of reasons. An operator’s experience, the type of equipment used, and the ground conditions all play a role.

Despite advances in technology, accurate results might not always be achieved. Although ground-penetrating radars and other pipe-locating equipment are highly accurate and provide cutting-edge technology, they have some limitations. Don’t forget that the readings taken are the operator’s interpretation.

3. Utility Mapping Checks Are One-Time Only

A thorough mapping of existing utilities is done before beginning any new excavation or drilling project to ensure everyone’s safety. Since the last excavation or utility survey, there may have been a new electric or gas service added. Markouts are always a good idea before digging.

There might be obstructions during the survey time that prevent utility locators from fully accessing the site. It is also possible to gather clues by discussing the site with staff familiar with it, as well as by accessing nearby utility rooms and finding utility records.

4. Non-Metallic Utilities Are Not Detectable

It is still possible to locate non-metallic utilities using Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR), even if GPR is not able to see all utilities. Additionally, the utility can be traced using a cable or pipe locating device if the conduit pipe is hollow with a metallic trace wire inserted into it.

5. You Can Locate All Utilities With The 811 Service

It is vital that your property be surveyed if you plan to dig. Conducting a survey with Call 811 will help prevent accidental damage. After you call 811, your local utility provider will get in touch with you to let them know you’re planning on digging.

But some utility companies don’t mark your ground quickly, so private utility lines may not be taken into account if the meter, box, or transformer is on your side. Marking the communication, electric, gas, water, and sewer lines within your property will usually require the assistance of a private locating company.

A professional, reliable, and trustworthy utility mapping service is what you can expect from our team of skilled experts. Contact Util-Locate today at 888-885-6228 or email us at info@util-locate.com for more information about our services!

Utility Service Locator with Depth Indicator

Utility locating

It is common knowledge that utility locating keeps workers as well as residents safe. Additionally, it contributes to on-time and on-budget project completion. It’s important to keep in mind that this service can be used for much more than damage prevention, however.

Utility locating contributes to the efficiency of construction sites, the safety of communities, and the operational efficiency of utilities. In order to effectively locate materials, utilities, diggers, and 811 operators must cooperate.

Utility Locating: How Does It Work?

Utility locating involves creating a detailed map of what’s going on under the surface using high-tech equipment, also known as underground utility mapping or utility detection. A utility locator verifies existing infrastructure and manages excavation practices safely, rather than risking damage to underground pipes and cables.

The ability to map and account for utilities before opening the ground is vital when using hydro excavation and other soft digging equipment. Location services using electromagnetic field technology are among the most popular today, since this technology generates, sends, and receives electromagnetic radio frequencies through the earth.

By converting signal strength into depth, modern locators can also measure depth. Signals from other sources can, however, cause distortion, resulting in errors in in-depth measurements.

What Are the Uses of Utility Locating?

Residential, commercial, and civil utilities can be mapped with underground utility mapping technology. Private builders and government organizations involved in infrastructure projects use this technology regularly, although it can be prohibitively expensive for small residential jobs.

Locators reduce the risk of damaging underground pipes and other services by preventing them from being hit and broken. To reduce the risk of exposure to dangerous electric wires and waste-water pipes, pipe locator technology is also an important part of health and safety.

Using advanced technology and training, private utility locators are capable of producing more detailed deliverables, such as digital maps, thereby reducing the possibility of mistakes and costly delays. Construction delays, buried line damage, and injuries are more likely to occur when locators miss buried lines or surface markers due to limited technology or training.

When Should You Call a Utility Locator?

Any project that involves digging deeper than 16 inches into the ground requires the assistance of a licensed utility locator. Calling the national service line is generally sufficient for simple residential projects. However, companies that perform utility location services can be contacted for larger commercial or municipal projects.

To locate underground gas lines, electrical lines, water pipes, and more, a utility locator uses certain technologies, such as EMR and EMI. For your project to run smoothly, this is an absolute necessity. In order to avoid liability and safety risks, it is imperative to conduct a new assessment of underground utilities.

This process can take a few hours to several days, depending on the size of the property, to be scanned. You will reduce your liability risk if your crew is injured or an accident occurs when utilities are marked before you begin work.

Looking for experienced surveyors to assist with your large-scale commercial project? With advanced technology and in-depth utility locating training, Util-Locate delivers high-quality, accurate field data through a large pool of utility services locating experts to its customers.

Util-Locate is ready to provide safety and expertise for your utility mapping project if you’re looking for a reputable and experienced utility mapping company. For more information about concrete scanning at Util-Locate, feel free to contact us at 888-885-6228.