Factors to Look for in Underground Utility Locating Companies

, Factors to Look for in Underground Utility Locating Companies

So you’re ready to get digging to install a sewer or to build a basement on your property. The last thing you want is accidentally hitting a utility line which can lead to floods, electric outages, or fire. Even worse, you can get seriously injured and wind up in the hospital.

Before starting any excavation project, be it in a residential or commercial property, you want to hire utility locators to help you locate utility lines in the area. This prevents accidentally hitting or interfering with existing pipelines, which can cause damages and also derail your project.

There are many companies offering utility locating services today. But accidents happen all the time. According to the 2020 DIRT published by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), utility damages cost the U.S. a whopping $30 billion annually.

Neglect and lack of experience have no room when it comes to utility locating. That’s why you want to know which companies to trust. Check out the factors outlined below to help you look for companies whose utility locating services you can trust.

Trained & Experienced Technicians

Utility locating requires the use of specialized equipment. A utility locating company should have trained technicians and staff who must have experience handling different projects with varying scopes. This helps give them a comprehensive understanding of your project when you bring it to them.

To know how well trained a utility company’s technicians are, you can check for their certifications or active involvement in relevant industry associations. For example, Util-Locate is part of the Common Ground Alliance and the National Utility Locating Contractors Association (NULCA).

Another option is to go online and examine their website. They should mention previous projects or clients they worked with before. Having a huge portfolio is not always necessary, but having a varied portfolio is certainly an advantage. 

Track Record for Excellent Service

When it comes to utility locating, you should not rely on just credentials on paper. Look for companies with an excellent track record. You can look up reviews online.

Yelp has various recommendations based on customer reviews and you can sort the utility companies by location to match your project site.

You can also ask other residential owners or businesses in your area. Inquire about private utility locating companies they’ve worked within the past and learn more about their experiences. Hearing feedback from actual customers often provides the additional insight you won’t glean from simply reading the company website.

Up-To-Date Technology

Utility locating has improved drastically in the last decade. Rather than relying on maps and other historical data, utility locators now have ground-penetrating radar (GPR), hydro vacuum excavators, and other equipment that allow them to accurately locate utilities and determine their depth.

GPR is a utility locating tool that detects metal and non-metal objects, as well as voids, using electromagnetic waves. This method is non-intrusive and cuts utility locating time short.

Not to mention, it has within 90% accuracy, and when used by trained technicians, is incredibly reliable.

Meanwhile, hydro vacuum excavation is a tool that digs holes at strategic locations on your project site. The holes enable the utility locator to visually confirm the location of utility lines. This is a great method utility locators use as an alternative, and sometimes, in conjunction with ground-penetrating radar, as it is the most accurate form of utility locating to date. 

Wide Variety of Services

You don’t want a company that only uses one method of utility locating. This means they are not versatile and cannot recommend which utility locating method is best for your project.

You should ask utility locating companies what techniques they use when offering their services.

Working with a private utility locating company that offers various types of utility locating services ensures they have the knowledge and experience to advise you on how to best locate utilities on your site.


Whether you are hiring utility locating services for a residential or commercial property, you always want to work with professionals. This means that they are insured, hold themselves to a higher standard of service, and guarantee to fix the job should it be needed.

Professionalism equates to quality of service. In a market with many utility locators offering services at varying rates, you want to trust those who present themselves well.

Rather than save a couple of bucks, ensuring you get a highly crucial part of your project done ensures that you and your people are safe, your project follows the intended timeline, and you avoid any potential costs incurred by injuries and damages.

Easy to Reach

Last but not least, you want to work with a private utility company that is easy to reach. Even if a utility locator has the best staff and equipment, there’s no point hiring them if you can’t reach them. 


Look for a private utility locating company within your area and choose one with a website that clearly outlines how you can reach them. They should be reachable via email or phone, so you can contact them conveniently at a time that fits your schedule. 

Book Utility Locating Services in California

Don’t take risks with your project. Ensure safe excavation by trusting Util-Locate, the number one utility locating company in California.

Util-Locate has over 10 years of experience offering top-notch utility locating services to clients. We’ve built long-lasting relationships all over the state and take pride in the efficiency with which we do our tasks as well as the courtesy and value we deliver to all our customers.

At Util-Locate, we have testimonials from real clients and we’ve worked with various companies from different industries to help ensure their unique projects go smoothly.

We also offer a wide variety of utility locating services from GPR and CCTV pipe inspection all the way to hydro-jetting and potholing utilities.

We meet the highest technical standards in the industry, making sure that we’re the number one choice in utility locating.

To inquire about our services or schedule a service online, contact us at Util-Locate today!