Underground infrastructure in the United States is an ever-evolving web of buried utilities, where one wrong move when breaking ground can result in costly damage, serious injury, or even loss of life.
The best and easiest way to mitigate these risks is through utility mapping, where you hire a private utility locating company like GPRS to come to your site and use technology such as ground penetrating radar and electromagnetic (EM) locating to find and plot out the precise location of every subsurface object on your property.
GPR and EM locating are the industry’s standard tools for precision utility mapping. GPRS’ elite team of Project Managers uses these technologies to give you a comprehensive view of the built world below your feet.
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a non-destructive detection and imaging technology which allows experienced operators to identify subsurface elements either underground or within a surface such as concrete.
GPR can detect both metallic and non-metallic objects, giving it a wide range of applications. It reveals all types of utilities, including electrical conduit, steam pipes, telecommunications lines, gas & oil lines, water lines, and sewer & storm pipes. GPR can locate the presence of voids, rebar, conduit, post tension cables, and other structural elements hidden within concrete.
The technology sends a radio signal into a structure. That signal bounces off any material it encounters and creates a reading that displays those bounces as hyperbolas. GPRS Project Managers interpret those hyperbolas to determine the type of embedded material located.
GPR is extremely accurate, able to penetrate up to 24” for concrete scanning purposes, and eight feet into grass, soil, asphalt, or concrete for utility locating purposes.
It is important to note that results from a GPR scan can be affected by external factors such as ground and soil conditions, proper use of the equipment, and correct interpretations of the readings. This is what makes it vital to employ a qualified utility locating/concrete scanning company when you require GPR services, rather than renting or buying the equipment to attempt the job yourself.
EM Locating Explained
Electromagnetic (EM) locating compliments GPR by detecting electromagnetic signals radiating from metallic pipes and cables.
These signals can be created by transmitting current to the pipe, or from the current flow in a live electrical cable. Signals can also result from a conductive pipe acting as an antenna and re-radiating signals from stray electrical fields (detected by the EM locator functioning in Power Mode) and communications transmissions (EM locator in Radio Mode).
Signals are created by the current flowing from the EM device’s transmitter which travel along the conductor (line/cable/pipe) and back to the transmitter. Typically, completing the current requires the use of a ground. A ground stake is used to complete the circuit through the subsurface.
Together, GPR and EM locating allow qualified utility locating companies to provide clients with a comprehensive, accurate view of their subsurface infrastructure.
GPRS Utility Mapping Services
GPRS Project Managers use GPR and EM locating in concert to find all buried utilities and other subsurface objects on your property.
The data our Project Managers collect at your site is then uploaded into SiteMap® (patent pending), GPRS’ revolutionary facility management platform that acts as your single source of truth for infrastructure data.
SiteMap® gives you full access to your infrastructure data – it even allows you to see only the items you need to see for a given project. Rather than relying on out-of-date and inaccurate as-builts, you can view the accurate data collected by our Project Managers from your computer, tablet, or phone, and to share that data whenever and wherever you want.
The GPRS Difference
GPRS has achieved and maintained a better than 99.8% accuracy rating on utility locates due to our commitment to the Subsurface Investigation Methodology, or SIM.
Through the SIM program, GPRS Project Managers complete 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom training, where they encounter real-world scanning scenarios in a safe and structured environment that allows them to create consultative solutions to unique problems.
This training ensures that GPRS Project Managers can accurately interpret the readings provided by GPR, EM locators, and other infrastructure visualization technologies.
You can purchase or rent GPR and/or EM locators to attempt to locate and map your utilities yourself. But the cost to buy or rent the equipment and train yourself or a member of your team, coupled with the risks involved in missing something buried where you plan to dig, make hiring a professional utility locating company the clear right call.
At GPRS, our elite Project Managers collect the accurate data needed to Intelligently Visualize The Built World™ and keep your projects on time, on budget, and safe. And SiteMap® gives you the ability to view and utilize the data on your schedule, so you can simplify the planning and execution of your next job.
What can we help you visualize? Click the links below to schedule a service or request a quote today!