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Uncovering Underground Utilities

The city of today is a network of streets a d passages, buildings and walls.These complexities of the cities on the surface are nothing compared to the confusion created by the underground scenario as power, telephone and fiber optic cables vie for room with water, gas, wastewater, and sewer pipelines. On top of that are the layers upon layers of both in use and out of use utilities (dating as far back to the 1800’s), complicating the matter even more.

Among the very significant services for underground mapping performed nowadays is utility mapping. This is important prior to carrying out any excavation job in residential as well as in public areas. It is useful in locating metal or plastic pipes, electricity, telephone and fiber optic cables, and drainage systems. When everybody is aware of the utility services below, they can guarantee they are not going to accidentally fracture main water pipes or drill all the way through electricity cables, which can upset nearby residents or result to accidents. Since utility mapping is not evasive, it can be done speedily and without causing a lot of disruption, particularly if the mapping service is happening in some active high-street or adjacent to a school, for instance.

Excavating contractors that encounter buried utilities while on the job can cause, at best, costly postponements and financial or penalties of some sort anywhere services are hampered; at worst, this development is usually accompanied by the risk of harm to workers and even loss.
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It is thus vital that contractors make all efforts to detect and track down any buried utility/utilities possibly to be involved in a planned excavation and/or construction activity, before commencing the site excavation. This will very likely involve finding “before you dig” company. These contractors collate information obtained from utility organizations concerning the location of their buried utilities, which they pass on (with a bill) to the excavating contractor.

Whereas these utility locating services maybe essential preliminary filters for a contractor, these are not perfect: maps may not be accurate or complete, utilities have probably been added, taken away, or relocated without such information being revealed. As such, excavating contractors are advised to use utility surveyors and utility services that are suitably qualified, seasoned, and well-equipped.
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Modern technology has introduced state-of-the-art equipment in the form of electromagnetic detectors, radio-detection, and GPRS (ground penetrating radar systems), etc., that can be used to correctly locate many different buried utilities including pipes and cables that are either metallic or non-metallic. Such utilities can be mapped afterwards using conventional survey techniques in combination with a GIS, or geographical information system, and GPS software.