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Debunking 4 Common Myths About Underground Utility Locating


Underground Utility Locating work

In Canada, the One Call system exists for data exchange with utility companies. Bill S-229 (Underground Safety Enhancement Act) requires all utilities to register with the One Call system to have a positive effect.

There is no mechanism to ensure data management is accurate, but underground utility locating services can help.

What do you know about underground utility locating? Keep reading to learn four myths and the truth about these services.


1. Utility Locating and Mapping Is Accurate

A common myth about underground utility locating is that it's always accurate. The truth is that the markings might not be precise.

Although utility locating services use advanced technologies, it's possible that they won't deliver accurate results. Regardless of the precision and cutting-edge technology used, there are certain limitations.

Excavation will take place around five feet away from the marked lines.


2. I Don't Require Locators

If your utility map shows that there are no underground facilities, you might believe you don't require any underground utility locating services. This is a myth.

Past records are not always accurate or up to date. Underground utility locating services often find underground utilities that are undetected.

It's rare that the utilities mentioned in the old records are the only ones found.


3. Non-Metallic Utilities Cannot Be Detected

Utility locating technology cannot see all utilities, but it might be beneficial in locating non-metallic utilities in prime subsurface conditions.

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) equipment uses microwave band energy waves to identify non-metal objects. It can also map items made from plastic, PVC, natural materials, and concrete.

GPR has two equipment pieces; a transmitter and a receiving antenna. The transmitter sends electromagnetic energy into the ground by emitting a pulse and recording subsurface object echoes.

The receiver will detect if the electromagnetic pulse hits an object and record variations of returning signals.

GPR systems use software to transform these signals into images of subsurface objects. This is how companies can map non-metallic utilities buried in the ground.


4. You Won't Need Utility Mapping More Than Once

Even if utility mapping is once complete, you might need it again for future projects. Pipe locating services is an ongoing process because pipeline depth, utilities, and fiber cables can change over time as dirt moves or if there is erosion.

There are chances that more utilities will are installed after the the last utility locating is complete. You might endanger other people and resources if you believe that you won't require utility mapping more than once.


Underground Utility Locating Myths Debunked

It's important to know the truth about underground utility locating services. Buried pipes and cables underneath the ground can be struck and lead to severe consequences.

It's always wise to work with reliable HDD services and licensed pipe locators in BC. Ironman Directional Drilling will locate your underground utilities and map them out before excavation.

Our experienced team has provided professional services for more than 23 years.

Ready to get started? Fill out this form to connect with us.


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