The underground utility locators in California can help you enhance the safety of your construction site and the efficiency of the digging and building activities by identifying underground utilities for you and marking their paths, thus allowing you to avoid accidentally digging into them.
The Services Offered by the Underground Utility Locators in California
Utility locator companies use high-tech devices to identify buried structures without any invasive methods such as digging. They will either move their location device on the surface of the ground or use a stationary device that has a certain action radius and they will identify if any of the following types of lines are cables are present in the ground where you want to dig or excavate:
- Electric cables,
- Communication cables,
- Gas lines,
- Freshwater and sewer lines,
- Other, miscellaneous pipes, in use or out of use.
When the California underground utility locator technicians are finished identifying hidden utilities, they will provide color-coded markings on the surface to indicate the path of the lines they found and they will also provide a written report about their findings as well as images, drawings and maps of what they have found. You can request 3D images as well and most companies are also able to export the search results to various formats.
The Technology Used for Identifying Buried Structures
The devices used by utility locators are similar to the equipment used by treasure hunters and geologists, but specialized for line and pipe detection. The principle they are based on is the same: the locator emits some sort of sign that penetrates under the surface to be partially absorbed and partially reflected by the objects it finds as it travels underground. The locator device analyzes the reflected sign and decides what type of material it has bumped into.
Locator devices vary in complexity and scope of application – some can detect only metal pipes, others can be used only for plastic and there are advanced tools that can be used for detecting every possible type of cable, line and pipe. The most advanced units use a technology called GPR (ground-penetrating radar), the employment of special radar pulses in order to create images of the sub-surface.
The electromagnetic signs emitted by the radar are reflected by the underground structures and the device identifies the type of the structure by analyzing the reflected sign in terms of intensity. Many companies also use electromagnetic locators that are suitable for detecting metal structures, special probes to look for water pipes as well as special transmitters to locate large metal objects buried in the ground.
The most professional locator companies will use a number of location devices, not only one, just to make sure their results are completely accurate, but even though their devices use the latest technology, their services are very affordable. The utility identification process is also very efficient – it will not take more than a few days to check your property, even if it is a very large construction site, but the results returned are valuable and you will surely benefit a lot from the locator company’s services.