How Utility Locating & Mapping Keeps You On Time, On Budget, & Safe

How Utility Locating & Mapping Keeps You On Time, On Budget, & Safe

When a contractor discovered an underground storage tank and cistern while excavating in Chicago, they called GPRS to locate all subsurface objects on the site to keep their project on time, on budget, and safe.

The contractor was building on what had long been a vacant lot on the south side of the Windy City. The property was once home to an industrial plant, which had been demolished years prior. This meant that there were likely a significant number of buried utilities, and possibly additional underground storage tanks (USTs) on the site, but there were no features visible on the surface to indicate where any of this infrastructure was located.

Striking a buried utility during excavation can be costly and even deadly. The average cost to repair a single damaged utility line is $56,000, and the repair typically leads to 6-8 weeks of downtime that cause additional impact to your bottom line. Beyond the cost, a severed electrical cable or punctured gas line puts the health and safety of your workers and anyone else in the area at risk.

A GPRS Project Manager conducts a utility locate using ground penetrating radar.
GPRS uses ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic (EM) locating to conduct 99.8%+ accurate utility locates and keep your projects on time, on budget, and safe.

GPRS Project Managers deployed ground penetrating radar (GPR) scanners to fully map the site’s subsurface infrastructure.

GPR is a non-destructive detection and imaging technology that identifies objects buried underground or embedded within concrete. A GPR scanner sends radio waves into the ground or concrete, and those waves interact with any material – metallic or non-metallic – that they encounter. Those interactions between the radio waves and the buried anomalies are picked up by the GPR scanner and displayed in a readout as a series of hyperbolas that vary in size and shape depending on what type of material was located.

An experienced and properly trained GPR technician will interpret the reading to determine what was located, and its precise position underground or within the concrete. This allows contractors and excavators to know where it’s safe to dig, cut, or core – and where doing so would have disastrous consequences.

GPR uncovered several additional USTs, metal piping, and buried foundational components on the vacant lot in Chicago. GPRS was able to give this data to the contractor to help them more efficiently and safely plan for further excavation. And thanks to our rapid response time, the contractor was able to avoid delays to their schedule while still ensuring their workers’ safety.

A GPRS Project Manager uses spray paint to mark utility locations on grass.
GPRS Project Managers use spray paint, flags, and whatever other medium you require to mark utilities and other subsurface anomalies on your job site.

Industry-Leading Training

GPRS Project Managers are the best at what they do because they adhere to the Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM): the industry-leading process for conducting utility locates, concrete scans, leak detections, and CCTV video pipe inspections.

The SIM specification specifies that a professional utility locating contractor must utilize multiple locating technologies – such as GPR and EM locating – to create redundancy and repeatability in the results of their subsurface investigations.

All GPRS Project Managers must become SIM certified to work in the field, which means completing a minimum of 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom training where they tackle real-world scenarios to prepare them for whatever they may face on your job site.

SIM, however, is not just a training program for subsurface investigation. It addresses a step-by-step approach to collecting subsurface data to ensure that the results are repeatable and accurate. SIM practitioners must follow a checklist that is designed to ensure optimal results for every situation encountered in the field.

It’s GPRS’ commitment to SIM that has led our Project Managers to achieving and maintaining a 99.8%+ accuracy rate on the over 500,000 utility locating and concrete scanning jobs we’ve completed since 2001.

View All Your Infrastructure Data in SiteMap®

When you hire GPRS to perform a utility locate, you receive a complimentary SiteMap® Personal subscription. SiteMap® (patent pending), is GPRS’ cloud-based infrastructure mapping software that acts as a single source of truth for the accurate infrastructure data collected on your site by GPRS Project Managers. Data collected on your site – including utility locates, concrete scans, and VPI reports – is instantly uploaded into SiteMap® as soon as the Project Manager has completed their work, so you can securely access and share the information with your team.

SiteMap® gives you accurate data in a customizable, budget-friendly software platform with an intuitive user interface. It represents the next evolution of GPRS’ service offerings as we continue to help you plan, design, manage, dig, and ultimately build better.

We are currently offering live, personal SiteMap® demos. Click below to schedule your demo today!

From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualizes The Built World® to keep your projects on time, your budget intact, and you and your team safe.

What can we help you visualize? Click the links below to schedule a service or request a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can GPR be used to verify known measurements?

We can use ground penetrating radar (GPR) to cross-check the measured depth and location of a known utility with existing as-built plans to verify the accuracy of plans.

Does GPRS offer same-day private utility locating?

Yes, our professional Project Managers can respond rapidly to emergency same-day private utility locating service calls on your job site.

Will I need to mark out the utilities that GPRS locates?

No, GPRS will locate and mark all utilities for you. We have a variety of tools and markers we can use to highlight the locations of utilities, underground storage tanks, and whatever else may be hiding under your job site, facility, or campus.