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Do I really need Utility Surveying? Everything You Need to Know

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What is Utility Surveying

Utility surveying is an essential process that is critical to the success of any civil or construction project. It involves the detection and mapping of underground utilities, including water, gas, electricity, and telecommunications, which are critical for the functioning of any infrastructure.  

Total Station Utility Survey Equipment service provided by Geoscope
Utillity Survey

Utility surveying helps in avoiding costly delays, accidents, and damages, which can arise due to the disruption of underground utilities during construction or excavation work, by knowing what’s below before excavation takes place.

In Sydney, Australia, utility surveying is a well-established industry, with many companies providing these services to construction and renovation projects across the city. In this guide, we provide a comprehensive overview of utility surveying, including its benefits, processes, and challenges. We also provide tips for selecting a reliable utility surveying provider to ensure the safety and accuracy of your project.

Benefits of Utility Surveying

Utility surveying offers numerous benefits to the civil and construction industry in Sydney, Australia. The most significant advantage is the ability to detect and map underground utilities accurately. 

This helps in avoiding accidents and damage to the infrastructure, which can result in costly repairs and delays.

Utility surveying can also help in identifying any environmental concerns associated with underground utilities, such as contamination of soil or water sources.

Utility surveying also helps in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. 

In Sydney, Australia, the Australian Standard AS5488-2022 outlines the requirements for utility surveying information and the requirements for mapping and classifying the utility quality levels.

Total Station Utility Survey Equipment service provided by Geoscope
Total Station equipment detecting underground utilities

Compliance with this standard is critical to ensuring the safety and success of any construction or excavation project.

If you are interested to learn more about the Australian Standard (AS5488), here’s an article for you!

Australian standard (AS5488)

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Processes of Utility Surveying

Utility surveying involves several processes that are critical to its success. 

The first step is to gather information about the project area and the underground utilities. This includes reviewing any available maps or plans of the area, conducting a site visit, and interviewing relevant stakeholders.

Geophysical Investigation service provided by Geoscope
Geophysical Investigation

The next step is to conduct a geophysical investigation of the underground utilities. 

This involves using various technologies, such as ground-penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction, and visual inspection, to locate and map the utilities accurately. This process helps in identifying the location, depth, and type of underground utilities.

After the geophysical investigation, a non-destructive investigation may be necessary to confirm the location and depth of the utilities accurately.

This involves excavating small areas of the ground to visually inspect the underground utilities using potholes. 

This process helps in identifying any potential hazards or risks associated with the utilities and also identifies any potential clashes with the proposed construction work.

Technologies Used in Utility Surveying

Total Station Utility Survey Equipment service provided by Geoscope
Technologies used in Utility Surveying

Utility surveying relies on sophisticated technologies and instruments to detect and map underground utilities accurately. 

The technologies include Electromagnetic Detection, which detects metallic pipes and cables and uses electromagnetic fields to locate underground utilities.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) uses radio waves pulsed into the ground to detect differences in subsurface materials, while Electromagnetic Induction (EMI) measures changes in the electrical conductivity of the soil.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Equipment service provided by Geoscope
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Equipment

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Vacuum Excavation involves using high-pressure air or water to safely and quickly excavate around underground utilities. 

GPR & Total Station Utility Survey Equipment service provided by Geoscope
GPR & Total Station Utility Survey Equipment

Global Positioning System or GPS and Total Station are advanced measuring instruments that allow us to capture the exact location in XYZ coordinates of the utility information.

GPS is commonly used for mapping, surveying, navigation, and tracking.

Total Station is an electronic instrument used in surveying and engineering to measure angles, distances, and elevations with a high degree of accuracy.

12D is a powerful terrain modelling, surveying and civil engineering software package that allows us to pick up and process our utility data.

Challenges of Utility Surveying

Utility surveying in Sydney, Australia, is not without its challenges. 

One of the biggest challenges is the lack of accurate and up-to-date information about underground utilities

In many cases, the available maps or plans of the area are outdated or incomplete, which can result in inaccurate utility surveying. 

This can lead to costly delays, accidents, and damages, which can impact the success of the construction or renovation project.

Jemena Gas BYDA Sydney Harbour
Sample Jemena Gas BYDA Plan Sydney Harbour

Another challenge of utility surveying is the complexity of the processUtility surveying involves the use of sophisticated technologies and requires extensive training and experience to be done correctly. This can make it difficult for some construction or renovation companies to find reliable and experienced utility surveying providers.

If you need a reliable and trustworthy utility surveying provider, we highly recommend Geoscope. Aside from the consistent 5-star ratings in Google ReviewsGeoscope’s team of expert surveyors are highly trained and experienced in the use of advanced surveying equipment and technologies.

With their years of experience, advanced technology, and commitment to customer satisfaction, they are the go-to choice for anyone in need of reliable and trustworthy utility detection services. Click the link below to learn more about how Geoscope can help you!

Learn more about Geoscope

The most reliable and trustworthy utility surveying company in Sydney.

In addition, utility surveying can be time-consuming and costly, especially if a non-destructive investigation is required. This can impact the timeline and budget of a construction or renovation project, which can be frustrating for all parties involved.

Importance of Accurate Utility Surveying

Although mapping the subsurface utilities may be costly, it is not as expensive as making massive mistakes during the planning stage without taking into consideration the following:

  • Clash in design with existing utilities
  • Asset relocation
  • Redesign
  • Construction delays
  • Budget blowouts
  • Accidents, damages, and personal injury

 

Accurate utility surveying is essential for the safety and success of construction and renovation projects. It helps to identify potential hazards, such as gas or water pipelines, and ensures that construction work does not damage existing utilities. 

Accurate utility surveying also helps to prevent costly delays and rework caused by unexpected utility encounters. Furthermore, accurate utility surveying helps to ensure compliance with local regulations and reduces the risk of accidents, injuries, and damage to the surrounding environment. 

If you are interested to know what is the true cost of damages to underground services, then this article is perfect for you!

True Cost of Damages to Underground Services

The utility locating industry plays a critical role in maintaining Sydney’s infrastructure. And the cost of damages to underground services can be significant, and the numbers are staggering.
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Selecting a Reliable Utility Surveying Provider

To ensure the safety and accuracy of your construction or renovation project, it is essential to select a reliable utility surveying provider in Sydney, Australia. Here are some tips for selecting a provider:

Tips for Selecting a Reliable Utility Surveying Provider

  1. Look for a provider with extensive experience and expertise in utility surveying.
  2. Check if the provider is compliant with the Australian Standard AS 5488-2022.
  3. Ensure that the provider uses the latest and most advanced technologies for utility surveying.
  4. Check if the provider has comprehensive insurance coverage to protect against accidents or damages.
  5. Look for a provider that offers a comprehensive range of utility surveying services, including non-destructive and destructive investigations

If you want to learn more about how to select a reliable utility surveying provider or utility locating service provider, this article might help you!

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In summary, utility surveying is a crucial process that involves the detection and mapping of underground utilities. 

To ensure the accuracy and safety of your construction or renovation project, it is essential to choose the most appropriate type of surveying, use advanced technologies, and select a reliable utility surveying provider. 

Accurate utility surveying helps to prevent accidents, damages, and costly delays and ensures compliance with local regulations. By understanding the different types of surveying, technologies used, challenges, importance, and how to select a reliable utility surveying provider you can make informed decisions and ensure the success of your project.

If you are interested in having a utility investigation on your next project, get in touch with Sydney’s leading SUI investigation team today – Geoscope. You can fill out the form below or contact them directly at 1300 750 350 or e-mail them directly at info@geoscopelocating.com.au.

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Patricia Cupiado

Co-Author of this Article

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