The Importance of Private Utility Locating Services

An ounce of prevention could save your next project time and money

An environmental company in Newport News, Virginia hired GPRS to assist at the site of a former gas station to locate unknown subsurface utilities prior to constructing a new structure on the site. Often times, our client has been told that the fuel tanks were removed from the property, and fail to do a site scan to confirm. This type of faulty information can damage equipment, delay the project and put your crew in harm’s way. The first step for this project was to perform an entire radar sweep of the property for any undisclosed storage tanks. Once it was confirmed that there were no tanks on the site, the client was then responsible for performing a series of soil borings to check for soil contamination levels.

Once the soil contamination testing had been cleared, the client called GPRS to conduct scans at ten specific areas of concern that had been marked out. The radar equipment used on site was the 350 MHz antenna along with the SIR 4000. Utility locating scans were conducted in a 2’ grid pattern to locate any and all possible underground utility lines in the concerned areas. GPRS also scanned a 20’ area around each of the identified marks and determined that several of the clients’ locations were inaccurately placed. Our team was able to correct the issues, and scan the appropriate areas to ensure there were no subsurface utility lines in the way of construction.

Using ground penetrating radar to locate utilities allowed the project manager to see below the surface of the job site, and help locate several non-conductive utilities that had gone unmapped by state 811 locators. In conjunction with our radar scans, GPRS went back over the area using Radio Detection to determine if there were any live power or communication lines using the passive scanning mode procedure. By doing multiple passes with several pieces of utility detection equipment, we were able to provide the client with a full map of all the subsurface utility lines in the specified areas.

The project manager made the standard marks as necessary: Red for power, Yellow for gas, Blue for water, Green for sewage, Orange for communications, Pink or White for unknown utilities. GPRS subsurface utility scanning saved this particular client from hitting any of these critical utilities, potentially saving the company from costly repairs, down time, and possible injuries that may have occurred if they had drilled without using a private utility locating contractor. All GPRS employees are OSHA 10 trained and go through up to 4 months of training to ensure they are extremely comfortable with the equipment they are using and confident in their ground penetrating radar skills.

Every construction or excavation project fights to maintain its estimated schedule and budget, dealing with revisions, change orders and delays which ultimately lead to unnecessary expenses. The last several years have been challenging for the construction industry, and now, more than ever, changes to that schedule will have a direct impact on your bottom line.

Take some of the guesswork out of your next construction project by utilizing the private utility locating services at GPRS. We can keep your project on time, on budget and keep your crew safe from subsurface hazards that may be lurking beneath the surface of your job site. Remember, you are on the hook legally and financially for repairing any damage to utility lines caused by your digging. Always call a private utility locator like GPRS before you start digging on your construction site.

Utilizing Ground Penetrating Radar and EM Locators are the industry’s preferred tools to locate underground private utilities. GPRS has a 24-hour service and rapid response team, and can be out to your job site often times the same day as your call. We can get to any job you may have within 24-hours or less if needed with our rapid response program. Contact your local GPRS representative for more information about how GPRS can help you eliminate the unforeseen and keep your next construction project on time and on budget.