Private Utility Locating Services
At the point where the 811 locating system leaves off is where our work starts. Although the “Call Before You Dig” 811 service does provide you with some information on public utilities, it does not give you the entire picture. Fortunately, Master Locators can supplement this work by providing you with a more accurate and comprehensive picture of the utilities located underground through the use of our private utility locating services. We provide you with critical information that can help to reduce the risk of project delays or expensive accidents.
SoftDig provides private utility locating services. It is needed in situations where all utilities located on a site are not fully identified by the “811 One Call” mark-outs. This is often true on construction sites, university campuses, large industrial facilities, and on private property. Contractors ask for private utility locating before excavation, facility managers before making improvements to their sites, drillers before boring deep excavations, and in other situations as well.
What Is 811 One-Call?
You might be familiar with the “call before you dig” phrase. This campaign was launched all across the country to educate people about the importance of finding underground utilities prior to digging. Whether you are adding landscaping, having a fence installed, or putting a pool in your backyard, it is critical to ensure that there are no utility lines in the area.
You, or a company you have hired for your project, can call 811 from any of the states. It is important to call before excavating any residential or commercial land, which includes private property that you own. This service is free. Technicians are sent to your site and they use electromagnetic equipment to find public utilities. They will then mark any utilities running from the street over to the service meter. That can help professionals and homeowners prevent damage from occurring to natural gas, power, sewage, and public water lines.
However, that doesn’t mean the area is entirely clear and you can start digging. Only public utility lines are located by one-call location crews.
How Does This Process Work?
We use ground-penetrating radio (GPR) along with electromagnetic utility locating tools to give you a clear picture of what lies under your project site. Our standard practice is to employ three different tools on each project to improve the reliability and accuracy of the data that we collect. We are able to customize our deliverables in order to meet your project’s needs, ranging from GIS updates to complete utility mapping using GPS coordinates and detailed electronic sketches.
Why Is It Necessary To Use Private Utility Locating?
What poses the most risk to your project is the unknown. Private utility locating gives you full mark outs on all of the utilities located on your private property. So you will know for sure instead of thinking that you know. The information plays a crucial role in reducing the risk of your project as well as eliminating the expenses that are associated with unexpected discoveries on a job site.
Approximately 65% of utilities are actually privately owned instead of public. That means that services such as 811 locating will not document them. Private utility locating does not replace 811 services. However, ideally, you should call us to follow up after public utilities have been marked by 811 in your project area. The private utility locating services that we provide offer a reliable and accurate picture of your project site.
We do not offer any engineering, land surveying, geological, or geophysical services. The appropriate professional should be contacted if you are in need of any of these services.
When Do You Need Private Utility Locator Services?
Before you start on your excavating project, you most likely will need to make a second phone call. You might need a private utility locator to locate and demarcate any gas pipes, underground electrical lines, and more on municipal, commercial, residential, or private land.
Private utility lines run past service meters. For instance, electrical cables running from the meter to a building or house are considered to be private. For liability and safety reasons, it is critical to have those lines properly and accurately marked before you start to dig, including on your very own property. You need to contact a private underground utility locator in order to have them marked.
Utility maps are not relied on by private locator crews since they are often incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated. They instead thoroughly investigate the area using various specialized tools. Those tools include radiofrequency or electronic cable and pipe locating tools, ground-penetrating radar, and electromagnetic equipment. Ultimately, a private locator can produce high-quality, comprehensive utility maps of where abandoned and current lines are located.
What Are Private Utility Lines?
There are unmarked private utility lines on most properties. However, for anyone digging, they pose a real danger. It is essential to locate and mark all lines. The following are some examples of various underground utilities that may be hidden somewhere on your property.
Power for detached garages
Gas for a heated pool
Electricity for outdoor lighting
Where Are Private Utility Lines Located
Here are some examples of sites where private utility locators frequently work:
Commercial properties including parking lots
College campuses and school grounds
Every state has its own laws, but in general, private owners are responsible to maintain these kinds of pipes and cables.
Call Softdig, Before You Dig
The most important factor is safety. Before anyone does any digging on your residential or commercial property, contact the experts. Dial 811 first and inform the public utility locators of any excavation plans you have. Then call SoftDig.