- When locating underground utilities, look for damage or corrosion, location, and accuracy on maps and records.
- Ask the ‘Call Before You Dig’ hotline for information about the location of underground utilities.
- You can also check the Dig Safe website for more information about safe excavation practices.
- Always use caution when excavating underground utilities, and be sure to have the proper equipment on hand to avoid damaging them.
- When choosing underground utility equipment, it is crucial to consider the type of material that has been buried, the depth of burial, and the size of the area to be searched.
- Scorpion Construction LLC offers full site development with paving and underground utility services to customers in Lakeland, FL, and the surrounding areas.
When locating underground utilities, there is no one size fits all solution. Different situations require different types of equipment. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for when purchasing underground utility equipment. Scorpion Construction LLC will discuss the different types of equipment and provide tips on choosing the right one for your needs.
Factors to Consider While Locating Underground Utilities
When preparing a site for construction, it is essential to plan for underground utilities. Please read our blog on underground utility damage to figure out hidden expenses you may face as the work progresses. Here are some considerations to check while locating underground utilities:
1. Type of Utility
The utility type is the first factor to consider when locating underground utilities. Many utilities, such as water, sewer, gas, and electrical cables, may be underground. Each utility type has unique characteristics that must be considered when locating it.
2. Depth of Utility
Another factor to consider when locating underground utilities is the depth of the utility. Utilities are typically buried at different depths depending on the utility type and location. For example, water lines are typically buried shallower than sewer lines. Gas lines generally are buried deeper than water lines.
3. Size of Utility
The size of the utility is another critical factor to consider when locating underground utilities. The size of a utility can range from a small cable to a large pipe. The size of the utility will determine how deep it is buried and how easy it is to locate.
4. Material of Utility
The material of the utility is another factor to consider when locating underground utilities. Different materials are used depending on the utility type and location. For example, water lines are typically made from PVC or copper, while sewer lines are usually made from concrete or clay. Gas lines are made from steel or iron.
5. Age of Utility
Age is another factor to consider when locating underground utilities. Older utilities are more likely to be damaged or corroded than newer ones. It can make them more challenging to identify. Additionally, maps or other records may not accurately represent older utilities.
6. Location of Utility
The location is perhaps the most critical factor when discovering underground utilities. The site can range from a residential area to an industrial area. The type of area will determine how deep the utility is buried and what kind of material it is made from.
If the area where the utility is located is flat, it will be easier to find underground utilities than if the site is hilly or mountainous. Flat terrain provides a clear path for detectors, while hilly or mountainous terrain can block signals and make it more challenging to find utilities.
8. Type of Soil
The next factor to consider is the soil type where the utility is located. Different types of soil can affect the ability to find underground utilities. For example, sandy soil is easier to penetrate than clay soil, making it easier to locate buried utilities in sandy soil than in clay soil.
You should also consider the vegetation cover where the utility is located. If there is a thick layer of vegetation, it can make it more challenging to find underground utilities. It is because the vegetation can block signals and make it more challenging to locate equipment to penetrate the ground.
10. Man-made Structures
Another consideration is the manufactured structures where the utility is located. If there are a lot of artificial structures, such as buildings or roads, in the area, it can be more challenging to find underground utilities.
11. Utility Maps
Utility maps show the location of underground utilities, such as water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, electric lines, and telecommunications lines. These maps can help identify the approximate locationof an underground utility.
12. Call Before You Dig Hotline
The Call Before You Dig hotline is a national hotline that provides information about the location of underground utilities. This hotline can help identify the approximate location of an underground utility.
13. Check Out Dig Safe Website
Dig Safe is a not-for-profit entity that provides information about the safe excavation of underground utilities. Their website can help identify the approximate location of an underground utility.
Choosing the Right Underground Utility Searching Equipment
When choosing the correct underground utility searching equipment, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
1. Radio Detector
Radio detection equipment uses radio waves to detect buried pipes and cables. The equipment contains a transmitter and a receiver; the transmitter sends radio waves, which are then reflected by buried pipes and cables. The receiver picks up these reflected waves and displays them on a screen, allowing the operator to see the location of buried utilities.
2. Ground Penetrating Radar
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is another type of underground utility searching equipment that uses radio waves to detect buried pipes and cables. GPR equipment consists of a transmitter, a receiver, and an antenna. The transmitter emits radio waves that reflect off the buried pipes and cables. The receiver captures these reflected waves and projects them onto a screen, which shows the operator the location of hidden utilities.
3. Electromagnetic Locators
An electromagnetic locator uses electromagnetic waves to detect buried pipes and cables. A transmitter in the device sends electromagnetic waves that reflect off buried pipes and cables while the receiver picks up these reflected waves. The output display monitor uses the received signals to identify the location of the buried utilities.
4. Ground Conductivity Meters
Ground conductivity meters are a type of underground utility searching equipment that measures the ground’s electrical conductivity to detect the presence of buried utilities. Ground conductivity meters are typically used to locate buried metal pipes and cables.
5. Sonic Locators
Sonic locators search underground utilities by sending sound waves into the ground and detecting the reflected waves. This type of equipment is typically used to locate non-metal pipes and cables.
Need Underground Utility Services in Lakeland, FL?
If you are looking for a paving site contractor to help with underground utility work, Scorpion Construction LLC serving Lakeland, FL, is here to serve. With more than 30 years of experience in this field, we know how to get the job done correctly and on time. We are watchful in our work to reduce potential problems during later construction phases and always aim to route pipes correctly according to your specific needs and budget constraints. Contact us today for a free estimate so that we can get started on helping you achieve your construction goals!