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How to locate underground services

Locating Underground Services Australia

Locating underground services prior to digging is key when it comes to ensuring safety.

If you have plans to dig — at a construction site, or a small project on a private property — it is important to know that it is a legal requirement to locate underground services before you begin. By locating structures like buried cables, pipes and mains, it is often possible to avoid serious damage. Read on to find out what underground service locating involves, and how we can help…

What are underground utilities?

Underground utilities include pipes, lines, cables and other structures that are buried under the ground. Just below the surface of the ground, there are often many systems and structures that allow us access to services like electricity, gas, water, communications, and sewage. It is very important that these systems are not damaged when digging for construction purposes. Damage to these services can have serious implications — hitting an electric line, for example, can be fatal, while damage to communication lines can result in unnecessary cost and inconvenience. Furthermore, damaging underground utilities can lead to a range of legal issues, as well as project delays and contractor fines.

For these reasons, it is essential that underground services are located and mapped before any digging project begins.

What methods are used?

Thanks to advances in technology, there are a number of tools that can be used to detect underground utilities. These tools and equipment work with excellent precision. Some of the most common tools include ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic location. Other options include frequency locators, magnetometers, cable locators, acoustic pipe location and hydro vacuum excavation.

The use of GPR is minimally invasive as it does not involve any digging. With the use of GPR equipment, it is possible to detect a range of materials — these include PVC, plastic, clay, metal, gas and power lines, water systems, fibre optics and septic tanks. During the process of GPR locating, a two-dimensional image of the subsurface is created. This gives the relevant workers the opportunity to really understand the layout beneath the ground before they begin work on the area.

Hydro vacuum excavation, on the other hand, involves the excavation of soil with high-speed suction. This method of excavation is also minimally invasive and does not cause damage to underlying systems and utilities.

How can we help?

At Provac, we can detect underground utilities, cables, pipes and structures with precision using our top-of-the-range technology and modern techniques. With our help, it is possible for you to avoid damage to or exposure of underground services that could be costly or even fatal.

Our team is experienced in the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) and works with high-quality technology to detect underground utilities such as power lines, sewerage, water pipes and gas pipes. We also use this method to scan concrete for cables, electrical conduits and steel reinforcements. If you would like to find out more about our GPR services, please have a look here.

We also specialise in hydro vacuum excavation, which is a non-invasive, cost-effective and accurate process by which we can excavate safely. We offer this service throughout the Gold Coast, Brisbane, South East Queensland and beyond. If you would like to find out more about our hydro vacuum excavation services and what they involve, please have a look here.

If you are ready to excavate but want to make sure that you are doing so in a manner that is risk-free and safe, we encourage you to get in touch to find out how we can help. To find out more about our underground locating services, please have a look here.

If you would like to get in touch for more information or to request a quote, please contact us here or give us a call on 1300 734 772. Our team is committed to helping our clients prevent damage to underground services in order to achieve safe and economically feasible outcomes. We provide top-quality service and are available to provide you with all the information you need and to guide you through the process of safe and accurate excavation.

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