Helping Environment Drillers In A Tight Parking Lot – Texas

It’s no mystery that drilling for environmental samples comes with certain risks. Overhead power lines, above ground obstacles like crowded parking lots, and, perhaps most challenging of all, underground utilities.

Drillers, geotechs, and environmental firms alike know this particular challenge full well. Because of this, robust damage prevention plans are created in attempt to eliminate line strikes and other hazards associated with drilling for samples. Various best practices are considered, implemented, and refined as experience dictates.

GPRS does not provide geophysical, geological, land surveying or engineering services. If you need such services, please contact an appropriate professional. If you are interested in hearing more about how GPRS can help you on your next project, please call us at: 972-922-0223


One facet of a well-designed damage prevention plan shared by the best firms in the country is a commitment to using highly trained and reputable line locating firms. This is an area where GPRS excels. We at GPRS are dedicated to using the best technology in a systematic process that allows us to efficiently gather as much data as possible and present it to our clients in a way that empowers them to make well-informed decisions on next steps. This systematic approach is called Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM for short).

The SIM model is the result of over 17 years in the business and several hundred thousand completed projects. It is the culmination of our collective experience refining our best practices and pushing ourselves to the highest standard of excellence. Each and every technician is trained extensively under this model, ensuring a consistent level of high quality on every project across the country.

In the case pictured here, Nick Sherman of our Dallas, Texas office follows SIM protocol as he searches for obstructions at our client’s drilling operation. He identifies buried electrical conduit, communications lines, and overhead power lines running dangerously close to a location where our client would have liked to drill and sample. Once Nick has finished his inspection, he will walk our client though his findings, making sure they understand everything that was discovered on site. We’ll recommend they move a safe distance away from the underground and above ground obstacles in their way. This information will prove critical in ensuring a safe drilling and sampling operation is completed safely and in a timely manner.

According to our client, it used to be common practice (and still is with many companies) to use a hand auger to drill for the first 5 feet at a sampling location, then introduce a drill rig if no utilities were encountered. While this process of hand augering did mitigate some damages, it did very little to eliminate strikes on deeper lines live storm and sewer. Fortunately, with advances in today’s technology, a skilled locator can find lines far deeper than 5’. For instance, SIM protocol would dictate that a technician make appropriate efforts to identify above ground features like storm grates, inlets, manhole covers, and sewer line cleanouts in order to trace those deeper lines and avoid a line strike. In the case highlighted here, sewer lines were identified and confirmed to run far from the areas where drilling was to take place.

To find out more about how our team of skilled technicians can help reinforce your damage prevention policy, contact your local GPRS representative. You can also visit www.SIMspec.org to learn more Subsurface Investigation Methodology.