Ground Penetrating Radar Used to Locate Utilities

A General Contractor had an excavation project in Richmond, VA. The scope of the project was to locate all utilities along a private road approximately 2,000 linear feet long prior to excavating to tie into existing utilities to shut off all services. The General Contractor decided to contact Ground Penetrating Radar Systems of Virginia. It seems to be all too often, that when the land or property is handed over to the contractor to start the construction process there is never enough information on what lies beneath the surface. This particular property used to have a prison standing spread across approximately 65 acres. Everything has been completely removed except what lies beneath the surface. It was also suggested to the client to perform an EMI (Electromagnetic Induction) survey to help locate any manmade objects such as leftover foundations, underground storage tanks, drums, or any other buried surprises.

GPRS was able to complete the investigation within just a couple of days of the request and allowed the project to proceed without delay. GPRS uses real time applications and were experienced enough to be able to locate all of the utilities in the area to avoid hitting anything while digging and ensuring everyone’s safety. Before GPRS was on site, the client had no idea what lay beneath the surface as far as utilities are concerned. All of the utilities that we found were marked with spray paint and flags and given an approximate depth. GPRS Technicians also utilize a Radio Detection device in order to be able to detect all live power and radio frequencies to help determine if a utility is an electric or communications line to help give the contractor as much information as possible. Ground Penetrating Radar Systems utilizes the practices of SIM (Subsurface Investigation Methodology). SIM is a guide to using the locating technologies of a receiver and ground penetrating radar along with an aggressive training process approach to successfully complete a low investigation error rate.

SIM contains three primary elements, the human asset, technology asset, and methods applied in the field. The best site results are accomplished when the experienced, trained field technician can utilize multiple technologie. Thus, a technician can locate the same target using multiple technologies resulting in confirmation of findings and results.

GPRS gave the general contractor pivotal information and they could now proceed with the project with the peace of mind knowing where all of the utilities were and at what approximate depth they were at prior to digging. The general contractor was ecstatic with the quality of work that was performed and the timely, efficient manner in which it was done.

Before excavating and trenching in Richmond, VA or Virginia Beach, contact the Mid-Atlantic Team, at 804.393.8744 or You can also visit us on the web at We look forward to working with you and your team on your projects.

GPRS does not provide geophysical, geological, land surveying or engineering services. If you need such services, please contact an appropriate professional.