Handy Practical Tips for Accurate Underground Utility Mapping
Site excavation cannot begin without performing an underground check for utility services. Human error can often cause dangerous leaks and damages in underground cables and pipes. There are utility locator tools that help you to perform this job better.
However, sometimes even the best services might fail to accurately locate a service. Read on to find some ways to avoid mistakes.
Taking on a job for excavation requires skilled workers and services that can speed up the process. Advanced technology is in use in many excavation sites. If you are about to begin the excavation of a piece of land, you must stay wary of certain facts.
There are various networks of underground pipes, cables, and other services that run beneath the surface. Locating them can get difficult, if you don’t have the necessary equipment and operators.
Moreover, you cannot know the exact location of these services so you have to hire professionals. Excavation of any site begins only after a professional from utility location services scans the area for underground utility services.
Factors That Act as Hurdles in Getting Accurate Results When You Use a Utility Locator
Locating in a Congested Area:
Some areas are congested and hence it gets difficult to gauge the correct depth in such places with the utility locator. The mistake you should avoid here is starting to locate there itself. Move to a less congested area and start there, so that you get the correct information.
Passing the Blame:
This is a common mistake that operators commit when locating utilities. When the locator equipment does not map the underground services correctly, the operator blames the equipment. However, the blame could also lie with the operator who might handle it improperly.
Make sure that your operator knows how to work with the locator. Keep in mind that swinging the locator or placing it on an inclined plane results in inaccurate results.
Wet soil is better for underground utility mapping. Dry soil is less conductive and the utility locator does not work properly on it. Relying on the services of experts is beneficial for this reason. Their operators have the extensive knowledge to work with different soil conditions.
Tips for Damage-free Evacuations
It gets easier to work with the utility location services once you know what lies underground. Vacuum excavation exists for this very purpose. A vacuum excavator effectively exposes the buried utility services after you locate them.
This gives you a better understanding of what you have to work with. It also reduces the risk of onsite damage exponentially. Keep the following tips in mind to get the best result from your underground utility mapping.
1. Clearly Marking the Site: Carefully and clearly marking the utility services beneath the excavation site reduces the chances of misunderstandings and mistakes. If you hire someone from utility location services, insist that the operator follows this.
2. Get the Plans: You can also reduce the need for prediction largely, if you get the plans of the excavation site from the local utility provider. There are online services that help you get this information, so check them out as well. Provide your utility operator with plans too.
3. Safety for Vacuum Excavator Operators: The people who would carry out the vacuum excavation on the site should wear the necessary safety gear. This would include protective gear for their eyes, head, face, ears, and sun protection. They should adhere to the safety guidelines too.
4. Professional Operators: You could have the crew members who claim they have worked with utility locators before. However, it is best to rely on professional operators for these tools. Mistakes could cost you more than you expect.
5. Quality Equipment: Use only the correct and standard equipment for underground utility mapping. Damage to underground services is avoidable to a large extent and you should ensure that.
Keeping these tips in mind would prove helpful for the safety of those using the underground utility mapping. Be responsible for your actions and prevent danger at all costs.
Jon Armstrong is an expert in the structural investigation. His expertise has led him to document advisory columns for pipe scanning and other underground services.