Since its founding in 2001, GPRS has striven to be at the cutting edge of utility locating technology because what’s underneath matters – to your timeline, your budget, and your safety.
Our nationwide team of highly trained Project Managers uses only the most accurate equipment to provide our customers with service they can trust, keeping people safe, and jobs on time and budget.
Below is a quick look at 10 of the most vital utility locating tools at our disposal:
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) uses radio waves to identify hidden or buried subsurface objects. It can detect both metallic and non-metallic components, making it useful in a variety of environments and applications. GPRS uses several GPR scanners for utility locating. They include the Geode Real-Time Sub-Meter GPS Receiver, an all-in-one unit containing a receiver and high-frequency antenna, and the Compact GPR UtilityScan, a handheld, wireless unit that utilizes the newest HyperStacking technology for high-resolution and increased depth penetration through varying surface types and conditions.
Electromagnetic (EM) and Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) Locating
In addition to GPR scanners, our Project Managers may use electromagnetic pipe and cable locaters to find underground utilities. These locators use a transmitter to emit a specific frequency that a receiver then detects to determine the precise location of the underground utility. A rodder is used in tandem with the EM locator to detect non-metallic pipes, with a signal transmitter energizing the rodder so that it can be picked up by the locator. The Vivax-Metrotech Vloc3 PRO Utility Locator is GPRS’ EM locator of choice. Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) is the most widely used technology for locating buried services and is very effective in most soil types and conditions. Like EM Locating, EMI consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter transfers an alternating electrical signal to the pipe or wire to be located, and then the receiver is used to analyze the transmitted signal and localize the position and depth of the facility. EMI works best in conditions that are least conducive for GPR, and therefore GPRS Project Managers often use these two technologies in concert.
Robotic CCTV Crawlers
GPRS’ Envirosight ROVVER X robotic crawlers can inspect large pipes in diameters ranging from 6” to 96”. These rugged, adaptable tools provide the most accurate views of pipeline conditions and their exact locations, identifying leaks or other structural deficiencies before they become a serious issue. The entire process is video recorded and presented to the client so they know what issues were located and where.
For smaller pipes and other situations where our crawlers can’t be deployed, our Project Managers use a camera attached to a manually fed line. Each of these systems is equipped with a sonde, a small radio transmitter that can detect non-metal underground utilities. This entire process is video recorded so that our customers can see the issues we locate with their own eyes.
Magnetometers measure magnetic forces, which allows them to accurately detect magnetic fields created by ferrous, metallic objects buried underground. GPRS typically uses magnetometers to locate isolated, metallic utilities such as underground storage tanks (USTs), valves, manholes, and well heads.
Acoustic Leak Detectors
GPRS’ acoustic leak detectors consist of a DXMIC Ground Microphone, an elephant foot microphone, noise-cancelling headphones, and a monitor for acoustic leak detection. This setup allows our water loss specialists to pinpoint the location of a water pipe leak non-invasively by listening for distinct sounds caused by the leak.
Leak Detection Correlator
Leak detection correlators are specialized electronic devices designed to locate a leak within pressurized water or gas lines. They employ a specialized algorithm to pinpoint the “spike” in signal that determines the location of a leak. Both acoustic leak detectors and leak detection correlators are utilized when GPRS conducts a leak detection locate
These utility locating probes allow our Project Managers to identify the location of underground utilities from an inaccessible location. For this reason, sondes are often included on our robotic crawlers, lateral launch, and push cameras, especially for pipe inspection services. However, they can also be independently deployed for locates in non-metallic pipes by tracking the transmitter via EM technology such as the Vivax-Metrotech Vloc3 PRO Utility Locator.
Mapping and Modeling
3D utility mapping is a modern process for rendering a three-dimensional model representing a given project area, mapping out its underground utilities and their exact locations. This process compiles all subsurface utility information, such as water, sewer, and gas line inspection results, as well as any data of structures and electrical wiring. This can be completed prior to the pour in a concrete slab, or via a GPR utility locate that annotates depths which can then be modeled. By maintaining an accurate 3D map of all the underground utilities at a project site and/or a corresponding CSM (Conceptual Site Model), facility managers and their teams can easily identify potential problem areas and develop solutions prior to breaking ground. In addition to GPRS’ existing maps and models offerings, SiteMap®’s innovative 3D Utility Mapping and Modeling capabilities means inspection results can be easily stored and referenced in our Digital Plan Room and fully modeled in our Map Viewer feature to redefine collaboration for our clients. We strive to help those looking to Visualize The Built WorldTM by providing high-resolution, clear maps and models of any site, so that you can confidently share your plans with subcontractors, designers, engineers, and others to properly communicate all your project’s design needs. Learn more about how SiteMap® can help you and your team collaborate better and completely visualize your facility in a new, innovative way. Download your brochure and contact us for a quote today!
Above all, GPRS is built on the hard work and dedication of our elite team of Project Managers who are out in the field using the tools mentioned above to maintain our 99.8% accuracy rating for utility locating. Every GPRS Project Manager is certified in Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM), a standard designed to ensure safety, limit damage to underground and structural assets, and increase location contractor accountability on site. SIM focuses on three primary aspects of subsurface methodology: training, equipment expertise, and best methodology practices.With GPRS, clients get the peace of mind knowing they have the most reliable scanning technology on their job site, and they’ll receive the assistance of a Project Manager who can provide them with the most accurate data.
Whether you need to locate the root of an ongoing problem or find an issue before it evolves into a catastrophe, GPRS has the tools and the people to help you Visualize The Built WorldTM underneath your feet. What can we help you visualize?