GPRS Utility Mapping Ensures the Successful Construction of Pet Food Factory

GPRS Utility Mapping Ensures the Successful Construction of Pet Food Factory

GPRS’ utility locating and mapping services recently helped ensure the safe construction of a 450,000-square-foot pet food factory.

The $390M factory was built on the same property as another facility owned by the same business, which meant the contractor on the project knew there would be extensive subsurface utilities where they needed to excavate.

Striking a single utility while excavating can derail a project, leaving you with tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs and a significant delay in your schedule as repairs are conducted. And utility strikes are dangerous. A severed electrical line or gas pipe could threaten the health and safety of not just your workers but the surrounding community.

This is why federal law requires contractors and excavators to call 811 before breaking ground. 811 is the national call-before-you-dig phone number; an 811 one-call utility locator will come to your site to provide you with the approximate location of all public utilities in your dig area.

A GPRS Project Manager uses ground penetrating radar to locate utilities.
Roughly 60% of our nation's subsurface utility infrastructure is private, meaning it's owned by an individual or business. This is why it's important to hire a professional utility locator to locate and map your subsurface infrastructure before you break ground.

It’s important to remember, however, that roughly 60% of our nation’s subsurface utility infrastructure is private, meaning it’s owned by an individual or business. 811 locators do not locate or mark private utilities. So, to fully understand your job site’s buried infrastructure before digging, you’ll need to contact a professional, private utility locator company in addition to calling 811.

Over the course of several visits, GPRS Project Manager Josh Domingues used ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic (EM) locating to locate and map all existing buried utilities on the site – and the utilities installed to service the new pet food factory.

GPR is a non-destructive imaging technology that utilizes radio waves to locate objects buried underground or embedded within concrete. The GPR scanner emits radio waves into the concrete or underground, the waves interact with the objects they encounter, and those interactions are displayed in a readout as hyperbolas varying in size and shape depending on the material located. GPRS Project Managers like Domingues are trained in the Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM), the industry-leading training program and specification that allows all our PMs to accurately locate and map your subsurface infrastructure.

One of the main components of SIM is the use of multiple technologies to ensure accuracy and repeatability of results. To that end, GPRS deploys EM locating to complement GPR scanning.

While an EM locator can’t locate buried pipes or cables, it can detect the electromagnetic signals radiating from those objects. These signals can be created by the locator’s transmitter applying current to the pipe, from current flow in a live electrical cable, or from a conductive pipe acting as an antenna and re-radiating signals from stray electrical fields and communications transmissions.

Signals are created by the current flowing from the transmitter which travels along the conductor (line/cable/pipe) and back to the transmitter. The current typically uses a ground to complete the current. A ground stake is used to complete the circuit through the ground.

Using GPR and EM locating in concert, Domingues fully mapped the existing subsurface infrastructure and the new lines as they were installed.

“Each time I scanned, we created an updated map for the [contractor],” Domingues said.

Rather than relying on outdated as-built documentation, the contractor mitigated risk by utilizing the accurate, field-verified utility maps created by GPRS. Changes made on site were reflected in each new map, ensuring the entire project team could stay on the same page and eliminate mistakes caused by miscommunication.

A construction worker stands in front of a dump truck while holding a tablet.
SiteMap® (patent pending), powered by GPRS, is a cloud-based infrastructure mapping software solution that puts your vital facility data at your fingertips, 24/7, from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Your Data: Where & When You Need It

At GPRS, we know that even the most accurate data is useless if it can’t be easily accessed and securely shared with your team. Having accurate, actionable data at your fingertips throughout a project’s lifecycle is essential to keeping that project on time, on budget, and safe.

That’s why GPRS created SiteMap® (patent pending), a first-of-its-kind, cloud-based infrastructure mapping software solution that gives you complete control over your vital facility data 24/7, from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.

SiteMap® is a single source of truth for the field-verified, 99.8% accurate utility mapping, NASSCO-certified video (CCTV) pipe inspections, 2-4mm accurate 3D laser scans, and pinpoint accurate leak detection provided by GPRS’ nationwide team of Project Managers. And it’s at your fingertips when you need it, where you need it, to help you plan, design, manage, and build better.

GPRS’ SiteMap® team members are currently scheduling live, personal SiteMap® demos. Click below to schedule your demo today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of underground utility mapping?

An accurate map of your underground utilities helps mitigate subsurface damage when excavation occurs on your property. Additionally, when maintenance or repairs are necessary, knowing where your lines are located helps you avoid costly, time-consuming, and destructive exploratory excavation (also known as potholing).

What is GIS utility mapping?

A Geographic Information System, or GIS, is a way to create, manage, analyze, and map all types of location data. Geospatial Information Systems connect data points to digital points on a map and provide descriptive details about those points, enabling users to understand patterns, relationships, and geographic context.

SiteMap® (patent pending), powered by GPRS, contains its own intuitive GIS component, and it can also easily integrate with your existing GIS software to provide an extra layer of safety. What sets SiteMap® apart from traditional GIS platforms, however, is that it is powered by the accurate, field-verified data obtained on site by GPRS’ NASSCO and SIM-certified Project Managers, and then layered and modeled by our in-house Mapping & Modeling Department to suit your needs.