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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Coren Shore
Coren Shore
Used Geoscope for service location at a large job in North Sydney with alot of services to be found. Extremely easy to deal with and gave great service. Was happy with the final price for the amount of work they did.
They do provide great service, I also liked the availability and flexibility in timing, overall was happy with the service provided and the output in every job they did. They also provided detailed report for later use.
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Alexandra Jade
We used Geoscope for pipe locating for our pest control business, they were great to deal with and quick to respond and complete the job as it was needed urgently. Highly recommend :)
Andrew Katsanos
Andrew Katsanos
Thank you to Simon and the team at Geoscope. We booked a date and time for the work to be done, the technician Mark arrived on time and the work was done with no fuss, a great outcome for me. I would highly recommend Simon and the team to anyone requiring slab scanning or the like.
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Boris Santana
I engaged Geoscope to help locate an underground stormwater pipe. Great service from the team at Geoscope. They were very attentive and professional throughout their engagement. I would use them again.
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Using Geoscope Utility( Simon ) for the last 2 years for our jobs, had no issues whatsoever. Highly recommend. 👍
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We have collaborated with Geoscope on numerous projects, and their accessibility has consistently been commendable. Whenever we reached out to them, they were responsive and readily available. Additionally, their approach to addressing technical issues has been marked by patience and professionalism, providing clear explanations when needed. Process for various projects with Geoscope has consistently been smooth and hassle-free.
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