Underground Utility Survey

Unlocking the Depths: A Guide to Australian Underground Utility Survey

Underground utility survey is a critical step in the planning and design stage of any excavation, construction, engineering, or infrastructure management project where underground utilities may be impacted. 

Identifying, mapping, and documenting subsurface networks, and locating and surveying underground utilities increases the confidence, safety, and efficiency of projects by understanding where, how deep, and how accurate a pipe or cable is. Imagine it as having a set of eyes beneath the surface, ensuring the seamless functioning of water, gas, electricity, telecommunications, and sewer systems.

If you are planning to dig, we highly recommend completing a form of utility investigation suited to your level of risk.

Key Objectives of Underground Utility Survey

Utility Survey at 11 Abigail Street, Seven Hills NSW 2147 by Geoscope Locating

Utility Records Review

Discussion of Legal Requirement before conducting an underground utility locating services in Sydney

Like delving into an underground archive, Utility Records Review is a process of scrutinising existing DBYD and BYDA utility records, as-built drawings, aerial history and documentation. This deep dive provides us with comprehensive insights, much like piecing together the puzzle of underground infrastructure.

Utility Identification

Utility Survey at 11 Abigail Street, Seven Hills NSW 2147 by Geoscope Locating

Think of this as the detective work for underground networks. Utility Identification is the process of pinpointing the presence, type, and location of underground utilities using electromagnetic and GPR locating methods on site.

Survey Data Collection

Utility Survey at 11 Abigail Street, Seven Hills NSW 2147 by Geoscope Locating

Data Collection is a process of thoroughly gathering information about utility attributes, including materials, sizes, and overall conditions of the underground infrastructure, with precise surveying methods ensuring a complete picture of the underground utility details.

Utility Mapping

Utility Survey at 11 Abigail Street, Seven Hills NSW 2147 by Geoscope Locating

Utility Mapping is a process of crafting precise maps, plans, or diagrams depicting the position, depth, and spatial relationships of underground utilities using the data collected on-site to capture the position, depth, and spatial relationships of utilities in intricate detail in a digital format that can be shared with contractors on the project.

Clash Detection

Utility Survey at 11 Abigail Street, Seven Hills NSW 2147 by Geoscope Locating

Clash Detection is about swiftly identifying potential conflicts or overlaps between proposed activities and existing utilities. This proactive approach prevents any underground clashes that could disrupt projects and going back to the drawing board to redesign or configure the potential work around the existing utilities.

Risk Assessment

Utility Survey at 11 Abigail Street, Seven Hills NSW 2147 by Geoscope Locating

Risk Assessment is the process of evaluating potential risks associated with construction, maintenance, or repair work near underground utilities, akin to a safety audit. It ensures that every project is navigated with a safety-first mindset.

Utility Surveying Techniques and Technologies

Now, let’s dig into the tech side of utility surveying. We’ve got a lineup of tools and tricks that go beyond the shovel, such as:

Electromagnetic Locators

Electromagnetic (EM) Locators are specialised instruments used for tracing metallic utility lines beneath the ground. 

By passively or actively tracing electromagnetic fields emitted by underground utilities, these devices help us pinpoint metallic utilities’ exact location and path, such as pipes and cables. 

Electromagnetic EM Locating at NSW by Geoscope Locating

This technique is crucial for mapping out the intricate network of metallic infrastructure using the SUI — Subsurface Utility Information process set out in the Australian Standards AS5488.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a sophisticated geophysical method that employs electromagnetic waves to generate detailed images of subsurface structures, such as underground utilities.

Ground Penetrating Radar being used in a perpendicular angle in Sydney service provided by Geoscope

This non-invasive technology allows us to visualise the composition of the ground and detect underground utilities, providing valuable insights without the need for excavation.

Vacuum Excavation

Vacuum Excavation is a physically non-intrusive method used to expose underground utilities safely.

High-pressure air or water is employed to break up and loosen the soil, and a vacuum system then removes the debris. 

This gentle excavation process allows us to uncover utilities without causing damage, ensuring the integrity of the underground infrastructure.

Vacuum or Non-destructive method of Locating Underground utilities service provided by Geoscope

Precision Surveying Equipment

Surveying Equipment involves the use of advanced instruments designed for precise measurement and mapping of utility locations.

These instruments include total stations, GPS receivers, and other cutting-edge tools that enable accurate data collection.

Utility Survey at 11 Abigail Street, Seven Hills NSW 2147 by Geoscope Locating

The integration of these devices ensures that our surveys yield detailed and reliable information about the spatial characteristics of underground utilities.

Construction Safety and Efficiency

The information derived from underground utility surveying isn’t just data – it’s the key to unlocking safety and efficiency in engineering design, construction planning, utility maintenance, and damage prevention.

Utility Survey at 11 Abigail Street, Seven Hills NSW 2147 by Geoscope Locating

It ensures that every project is a bespoke creation, perfectly tailored to the Australian landscape.

Consult the Experts!

For those seeking the epitome of accuracy, safety, and efficiency, turn to the seasoned and most trusted professionals at Geoscope Locating

Contact Geoscope Locating today!

At Geoscope Locating, we welcome all inquiries, feedback, and collaboration opportunities. Our dedicated team is ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

With a legacy rooted in safety, a commitment to excellence, and a vision for the future, we are the compass guiding you through the intricate complexities of underground utilities.

Whether you prefer to reach out via phone, email, or through our website, we are committed to providing you with a timely and satisfactory response. Don’t hesitate to contact us, and we will be more than happy to assist you in any way we can.

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Simon Williams
Simon Williams

Author of this Article

Patricia Cupiado
Patricia Cupiado

Co-author of this Article

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Hassan Farhat
Hassan Farhat
We were so happy with Simon and the Geoscope team. This was our first time needing this service and we were unsure of the process, their professionalism and support at every step made the whole process easier. They responded promptly, were always on time, extremly approachable and very patient with our many questions. They were very helpful and supported us throughout the entire process, going above and beyond. Highly recommend.
Steven Cannon
Steven Cannon
Simon and the team were so easy to talk to. They were quick and efficient when organising themselves. Reasonable prices. Very happy with their service.
Ashish Pranami
Ashish Pranami
As a worker of utility industry, we always been fascinated by Geoscape Services. Very responsive and good presentation of report, which makes our job easy to undertake further steps. As a Downer employee we recommend utility people to use your services.
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Greg Sheridan
Geoscope were extremely efficient and cost effective. I couldn't recommend them more highly!
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First time using Geoscope, refereed from a friend of mine. Did great job, turned up on time can’t speak more highly of them.
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Hydrolutions Plumbing
We have used Simon and his team on various occasions, they are very reliable and accurate with their equipment. We highly recommend them and continue to use them.
Craig Sedgwick
Craig Sedgwick
Easy to organise. Tech turned up on time. Very easy to deal with, professional and helpful. He was able to locate the various pipes in subject area, and their depths. Have now trenched and installed my new pipeline without impacting any existing infra!
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