Underneath today’s city streets exists a labyrinth of underground water, sewer, gas, electric and telecommunication lines. As urban populations increase, 50% of a predicted 7-9 billion people are expected to be large town or city dwellers by the year 2012, so the quantity and complexity of underground utilities rises to meet the demand for potable water, telecommunications, energy and sewerage services. The location of such underground utilities has, historically, been based on utility record information maintained by the utility companies. Unfortunately, this information, if it exists, is often inaccurate, incomplete or out of date making it sometimes difficult for a utility locator to accurately mark out these utilities. Furthermore, such information very often locates the utility line in only two dimensions, usually in the form of a line on a map.
First Steps towards a Successful Private Utility Locate There are many practices and methods practiced by public one-call companies and expert private utility locators prior to beginning a survey and detecting underground utilities. The one thing that public locators often have over private utility locators is access to “records”. When you are a private utility locator, there are often no plans, records, maps or even opinions as to where these hidden underground utilities may lie.