fbpx

The Worst Ways of Locating Underground Utilities

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Locating underground utilities in Sydney is an essential process in modern infrastructure projects. However, using the wrong methods for utility locating can lead to disastrous consequences, including damage to underground infrastructure, injury to workers and the public, and costly project delays. In this article, we will discuss the worst ways to locate underground utilities in Sydney and the potential consequences of using each method.

The Worst Ways to Locate Underground Utilities in Sydney

1. Using Untrained Personnel

Trained Professionals of Geoscope Locating
Utility Locators training on-site

One of the worst ways to locate underground utilities in Sydney is to use untrained personnel for the task. 

Utility locating requires specialised training and expertise, and using untrained personnel can result in inaccurate and unreliable information about the location, depth, and type of underground utilities. 

Untrained personnel may not be aware of the risks associated with underground infrastructure and may not follow proper safety protocols, leading to potential injury or damage to underground utilities.

Consequences of Using Untrained Personnel

Using untrained personnel for utility locating can have severe consequences. These consequences include

A. Inaccurate Information
Professional Utility Locators acquiring accurate information on-site service provided by Geoscope
Trained Utility Locators acquiring accurate information on-site

Untrained personnel may not know how to interpret the data collected from utility locating equipment, leading to inaccurate and unreliable information about the location, depth, and type of underground utilities. This can result in excavation or construction activities damaging underground utilities, leading to service disruptions, property damage, and potential injury or loss of life.

B. Safety Risks

Untrained personnel may not be aware of the risks associated with underground infrastructure and may not follow proper safety protocols. This can lead to potential injury to workers and the public and damage to underground utilities.

C. Costly Delays
Work on-site being delayed a bit in Sydney
Work on-site being delayed

Inaccurate or unreliable information about the location, depth, and type of underground utilities can result in costly project delays as excavation or construction activities are halted until the underground utilities are located correctly.

How to avoid using Untrained Personnel for Utility Locating

To avoid using untrained personnel for utility locating, it is essential to hire professional utility locating services. These services have specialised training and expertise in utility locating and follow proper safety protocols to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information collected.

Professional utility locating services use advanced equipment and methods to accurately locate underground utilities, minimising the risks associated with excavation, construction, and maintenance activities.

2. Using Outdated Methods

Another worst way to locate underground utilities in Sydney is to use outdated methods, such as not utilising the complete range of locating methods. 

Using only electromagnetic locators which cannot detect non-metallic utilities such as plastic water and gas lines, which are becoming more prevalent in modern infrastructure projects instead of combining GPR, EM locating, Non-destructive digging, and Utility Surveying gives us a holistic view of what is buried below.

Cable locator and Electromagnetic EM and GPR being utilised to locate stormwater pipes service provided by Geoscope
Multiple utility locating equipments being used to locate underground utilities on-site

Consequences of Using Outdated Methods

Using outdated methods for utility locating can have several consequences, including

A. Inaccurate Information

Outdated methods may not be able to detect all types of underground utilities, leading to inaccurate and unreliable information about the location, depth, and type of underground utilities.

B. Safety Risks
Damage burst-cut-strike to underground storm water copper services in Sydney
Damage burst-cut-strike to underground services by using outdated methods

Outdated methods may not be able to detect all underground utilities, leading to potential injury to workers and the public and damage to underground utilities.

C. Costly Delays

Inaccurate or unreliable information about the location, depth, and type of underground utilities can result in costly project delays as excavation or construction activities are halted until the underground utilities are located correctly.

How to Avoid Using Outdated Methods for Utility Locating

Using the latest GPR equipment in Utility Locating service provided by Geoscope in sydney
Using the latest GPR equipment in Utility Locating

To avoid using outdated methods for utility locating, it is essential to use modern techniques such as Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). GPR uses high-frequency radio waves to detect and map the location, depth, and type of underground utilities without the need for excavation or damage to the surface. 

GPR can accurately detect utilities made of different materials, such as concrete, plastic, and metal, and can even detect non-metallic utilities such as water and sewer lines. GPR can also provide 3D imaging of the subsurface, allowing for better visualisation and planning of excavation or construction activities.

Proving where these pipes are buried using NDD or non-destructive digging methods and capturing this data using a utility survey adds to having all the subsurface utility information to get your job done right, the first time.

3. Not Using Proper Safety Protocols

Sydney Professionals discussing and planning about the safety protocols involved in utility locating
Sydney Professionals discussing and planning about the safety protocols involved in utility locating

Another worst way to locate underground utilities in Sydney is by not using proper safety protocols during the utility locating process. This can lead to potential injury to workers and the public, as well as damage to underground utilities.

Consequences of Not Using Proper Safety Protocols

Not using proper safety protocols during utility locating can have severe consequences, including

A. Injury to Workers and the Public

Not using proper safety protocols during the utility locating process can lead to potential injury to workers and the public. This can result in lost work time, worker’s compensation claims, and even lawsuits.

B. Damage to Underground Utilities
Damage to underground services, pipes, cables in Sydney
Damage to underground service by not following safety protocols on-site

Not using proper safety protocols during the utility locating process can also lead to damage to underground utilities. This can result in service disruptions, property damage, and costly repairs.

How to Use Proper Safety Protocols for Utility Locating

To use proper safety protocols during the utility locating process, it is essential to follow industry best practices and guidelines. This includes,

A. Wearing Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE
Geoscope Utility Locators wearing PPE on-site, following safety protocols
Utility Locators wearing PPE on-site to follow safety protocols

Workers involved in the utility locating process should wear the proper PPE, such as hard hats, safety glasses, and gloves.

B. Marking the Work Area
Professional Utility Locators Marking the area right and adhering to safety protocols, service provided by Geoscope
Professional Utility Locators Marking the area clearly and adhering to safety roadwork protocols

The work area should be clearly marked with caution tape and warning signs to prevent accidental damage or injury.

C. Using Proper Utility Locating Equipment

Proper utility locating equipment should be used to accurately locate underground utilities without causing damage.

D. Conducting Regular Safety Training

Regular safety training should be conducted for workers involved in the utility locating process to ensure they understand the risks and know how to follow proper safety protocols.

4. Relying Solely on Outdated and Inaccurate Maps

Utility Locating Professional relying on outdated site maps
Utility Locator relying on outdated site maps

Last, but definitely not least worst way to locate underground utilities in Sydney is by relying solely on outdated and inaccurate maps.

This method is particularly risky because maps can be inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated, leading to potential damage to underground infrastructure during excavation and construction activities.

Risks of Relying Solely on Outdated and Inaccurate Maps

Relying solely on outdated and inaccurate maps during the utility locating process can have several risks, including

A. Damage to Underground Utilities
Damage burst cut strike to underground pipes storm water copper services due to usage of inaccurate map of site in sydney
Damage burst cut strike to underground storm water copper pipes due to usage of inaccurate map of site

Outdated and inaccurate maps can lead to potential damage to underground infrastructure during excavation and construction activities. This can result in service disruptions, property damage, and costly repairs.

B. Delays and Cost Overruns

Relying on inaccurate maps can lead to project delays and cost overruns, as excavation and construction activities may need to be halted while new information is gathered and accurate locations are determined.

C. Incomplete Data
Utility locator double-checking and measuring the depth of storm water pipes in sydney to make sure to have a complete data service provided by Geoscope
Utility locator double-checking and measuring the depth of storm water pipes to make sure to have a complete data

Maps may not provide complete data, such as the depth or exact location of underground utilities. This can result in incomplete or inaccurate information, which can lead to potential safety hazards and costly mistakes.

How to Avoid Relying Solely on Outdated and Inaccurate Maps

To avoid relying solely on outdated and inaccurate maps during the utility locating process, it is essential to follow industry best practices and guidelines. This includes,

A. Using Modern Techniques
GPR being used on-site to gather more precise data on underground utilities
GPR being used on-site to gather more precise data on underground utilities

Modern techniques such as GPR can be used to accurately locate underground utilities, providing up-to-date and accurate information.

B. Hiring Professional Utility Locating Services
STORM WATER PIPE LOCATING LOCATOR COUNCIL in Sydney NSW service provided by Geoscope
Geoscope the most trusted utility locating company in Sydney

Professional utility locating services have the expertise and equipment necessary to accurately locate and survey underground utilities, reducing the risk of damage and project delays by creating quality utility maps.

C. Conducting Field Verification

Field verification should be conducted to confirm the accuracy of map data and to identify any discrepancies or inaccuracies.

D. Using Multiple Sources of Information

Multiple sources of information, including maps, electronic databases, and field verification, should be used to confirm the accuracy and completeness of the information collected.

In conclusion, there are several ways to create one of the worst locates of underground utilities in Sydney, and each method presents significant risks and challenges. 

Relying solely on physical markers, failing to use modern techniques, not conducting thorough field verification, and relying solely on outdated and inaccurate maps are all methods that can lead to potential damage to underground infrastructure, project delays, and cost overruns.

To avoid these risks, it is essential to follow industry best practices and guidelines. This includes using modern techniques such as GPR, hiring professional utility locating services, conducting thorough field verification, and using multiple sources of information to confirm the accuracy and completeness of the data collected.

Speaking of hiring professional utility locating services, at Geoscope Locating, we understand the challenges and risks associated with locating underground utilities in Sydney. That’s why we offer a range of high-quality utility locating services to help you mitigate those risks and ensure your project runs smoothly.

Geoscope Services

Knowing what's below your site or project is the initial step for anyone planning to cut, core, drill and penetrate a surface. Click learn more to know further information on our services

Our team of experienced professionals uses the latest technology and techniques to accurately locate and map underground utilities, including electrical, gas, water, and telecommunications infrastructure. With our expertise, you can avoid the risks of damaging existing utilities and ensure your project stays on track.

In addition to our utility locating services, we also offer a range of other solutions to support your project, including CCTV inspections, vacuum excavation, and mapping and surveying services.

To learn more about our services and how we can help you with your utility locating needs in Sydney, visit our website at geoscopelocating.com.au. You can also contact us directly through our online form below or give us a call to speak with one of our experts at 1300-750-350 or e-mail us directly at info@geoscopelocating.com.au.

By adopting a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to underground utility locating, you can ensure the success of your infrastructure projects, minimise the risks associated with excavation and construction activities, and keep your workers and the public safe. In the end, investing in the proper techniques and tools for underground utility locating is not just a smart business decision but also a critical step in promoting safety and sustainability in the construction industry.

If you wish to learn more about utility engineering and utility surveying in general, we have other informational articles in this link that will help you learn in-depth information about utility locating. 

Check out our Articles

Learn more about the world of the utility locating industry by reading informational articles written by experts

In case you like interactive videos to support your learning, we also have a YouTube Channel called, “Geoscope TV” where we put educational content about utility engineering, utility locating and utility surveying, including tips and tricks, industry advises and a lot more.

Patricia Cupiado

Patricia Cupiado

Co-Author of this Article

More to explorer

Utility Locating at Armstrong Court Bankstown Aerodrome NSW 2200 by Geoscope Locating

Utility Locating in Sydney, Australia

Geoscope Locating provides expert utility locating services in Sydney and surrounding areas. With our local knowledge and advanced technology, we ensure the safety and efficiency of your excavation projects.

Utility Locating at O'Connell Street Parramatta NSW 2150 by Geoscope Locating

Utility Locating in Parramatta

Unearth peace of mind with Geoscope Locating’s utility locating services in Parramatta. Our local experts use advanced technology to precisely locate underground utilities, preventing damage and delays for your excavation project. Free quotes available!

Underground Service Locating at 35 Alfred Road, Chipping Norton 2170 by Geoscope Locating

Underground Service Locating in Wollongong

Unearth Confidence with Geoscope Locating! We specialise in precise underground service locating throughout Wollongong and surrounding areas. Our experienced team utilises cutting-edge technology to identify and map utilities with pinpoint accuracy. Protect your project and avoid costly delays! Contact us today for a FREE consultation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *