Utility Locating Prior to Soil Boring

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Often times when a property changes hands, there can be a question about the environmental condition of the soil. Before the purchase or transaction, buyers look to avoid liability for existing environmental conditions by performing different methods of “due diligence”. Soil borings are often performed to investigate underground soil conditions of a facility where there has been contamination by hazardous materials or waste. In addition, wells and soil borings may be constructed to monitor water levels or to provide geotechnical data. Soil from the property in question is gathered though the soil boring process.

Soil boring often takes place at former laundromats, gas stations and other facilities that could have experienced soil contamination in the past. There are a few different ways that a soil boring can be accomplished. Direct push and hollow stem auger are the two most common drilling methods for soil sampling and have proven to be effective for most situations.

Direct push drilling uses hydraulic force to drive the drilling pipe into the ground and creates a cylinder-shaped sample of soil. Hollow stem auger drilling is accomplished by auguring flights of hollow auger pipe with teeth into the ground – producing the soil sample. While these two methods are the most common, there are other methods of soil boring if needed. After the soil boring process and the subsequent analysis, monitoring wells may need to be installed to continue the testing process and test ground water. These monitoring wells are installed in a similar manner to soil boring. Monitoring wells are installed into the underlying aquifer by various types of drilling methods, including: Hollow Stem Auger, Solid Stem Auger, Direct Push, Air Rotary, Mud Rotary, Water Rotary, or Sonic.

Geotechnical drilling is a process that is required to verify that the ground is solid for the placement of a future foundation. Geotechnical drilling is used to analyze the prior to construction taking place. Rock and soil samples are taken from below the future foundation depths, from different locations throughout the future foundation location.

Any time an excavator or drill rig penetrates the surface of the ground, there is a risk of striking underground utilities. Because soil borings are often completed in critical facilities like refineries or gas stations, it is crucial to ensure that all utilities are located prior to the soil boring beginning. GPRS uses the latest in cable avoidance technology.

When Ground Penetrating Radar Systems mobilizes to complete a utility locate prior to soil boring taking place, there is a reduced level of risk associated with the project. Soil boring can cause a drill rig to come into contact with a utility such as water, sewer, electric, communications or even gas. The soil boring process can also cause damage to an underground storage tank. Prior to a soil boring, monitoring well installation, or directional drilling, GPRS follows a strict process called SIM in order to locate all underground facilities. The Subsurface Investigation Methodology (SIM) specifies that underground locating firms must follow certain protocols for Training, Methodology and Equipment. Line locating with ground penetrating radar, video pipe inspection, lateral line locating, push cameras, and electromagnetic induction will keep your job site and project safe. Damage prevention is a critical piece to having a successful soil boring or geotechnical drilling project.

Contact your local Project Manger to review your soil boring utility locating project.

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