Underground utility locating is the process of finding and labeling underground utility lines, such as telephone lines, natural gas pipes, fibre optics, electric grids, wastewater pipes and traffic lights. There are many different underground utility locating methods that can be used nowadays, but ground-penetrating radar technology is arguably the most simple and advanced one. But what makes ground penetrating radars the best at what they do?
Ground penetrating radars are safe to use and are non-disruptive. This type of cable and pipeline detector uses a geophysical method which sends radar pulses which generate 3D images of pipes, sewage, power and water mains. This technology has gained a lot of popularity throughout the world lately, as it’s proven to be one of the most accurate and time-efficient methods for locating and mapping buried utilities, objects and structures.
As briefly aforementioned, this type of cable and pipeline detector models offer a non-destructive examination method based on magnetic or electromagnetic principles. They can identify and pinpoint the location of underground utilities, voids and reinforcing steel within concrete without damaging the surrounding surfaces and structures. In other words, you can do a full-on site inspection without any intrusion, which helps you preserve the structure and thus, helps avoid project downtime.
As far as accuracy goes, ground penetrating radars are very accurate in finding metallic and non-metallic items alike, as well as voids and pipe leakage. They’re capable of providing the exact depth and location of the objects without prior knowledge of their location. All of this makes them a very potent reconnaissance tool for areas that contain unknown utilities. As a result, they make the areas where excavation work is going to be performed significantly safer.
Lastly, ground penetrating radars are user-friendly and cost-effective thanks to recent technological advancement. Up until recently, these radars were used exclusively by skilled operators and expert, due to the fact that the equipment was complex and required hands-on processing. Modern ground penetrating radars, however, feature a user-friendly interface and an uncomplicated design that doesn’t feature complicated filter settings.
The simple operation, lower cost and accuracy of ground penetrating radars is what made them popular in the utility finding market. Taking advantage of its non-intrusive locating method before drilling prevents damage to existing utilities and structure, which as a result reduces the cost of installation. They help eliminate the chance of expensive job setbacks and downtimes caused by severed utility lines or injured workers.