A few decades back, water, natural gas, and sewer were the only utilities that were buried underground. Because of dire necessity and the advancement of technology, more utility lines are placed underground, making our subsurface landscape a maze of buried pipelines, tanks, drainage facilities, ventilation shafts, sewers and many more.
The need to bury utilities became apparent when people learned that placing them underground fosters safety and extends their useful life. As you might have observed, overhead utilities such as electrical and telecommunication lines are vulnerable to the elements especially extreme weather conditions. Daily exposure to wind, sun and rain can deteriorate utilities. This will result in damage which triggers repair and maintenance costs.
Why Locate Utilities before Digging?
The growing number of buried utilities created the need to locate them prior to the start of any construction project. On top of the necessity to prolong their useful life, the main goal of locating utilities is damage prevention. Being aware of the location of buried utilities right before the start of any construction project can help to keep the job sailing smoothly. Moreover, it’s ability to prevent damage to buried infrastructure and injury to workers makes utility locating a big help to keep construction time and costs minimal.
Most utility companies mark the location of their underground infrastructure, but these markers don’t guarantee precise information in terms of depth, horizontal location, and material of the item below the ground. This information is very important to engineers and architects of the construction project. It saves them from incurring unnecessary expenses as a result of damage to buried utilities and change orders. As you will see, yu will be responsible for the cost of restoring damaged utilities. In short, having accurate information of the location of buried utilities would be a contractor’s best bet to avoid huge unnecessary costs.
According to expert estimates, 25% of damage to underground utilities happen because the contractors didn’t seek the help of utility location services before they start excavating the area. Another possible cause of damage to buried utilities is the excavation team’s failure to know or interpret correctly the exact location of the utilities.
Who can Help to Locate Underground Utilities?
The help of utility-locating professionals like the utility location services Colorado contractors trust can certainly help to prevent the cost of damages caused by improper drilling or excavating. Professional utility locators like the utility locating contractors in Colorado are also skilled in identifying tolerance zones or areas that require hand-digging.
Precise utility location is a useful process. Firstly, it protect consumers from the hassles of service disruption and saves excavators from the cost and delay resulting from damage to utilities. Excavators are bound by law to take responsibility for the restoration cost of damaged facilities.
It is important for contractors to have accurate data of the location of underground utilities. It helps them avoid the risk of causing damage which certainly means added cost.
With that said, before the start of a construction project, contractors should engage the service of experienced utility locators like the utility locating contractors in Colorado. Their equipment and ability to conduct accurate underground mapping can help you avoid hitting utility lines when digging. This facilitates digging speed and prevents unnecessary delays.
The Importance of On-Site Inspection and Creation of Underground Utility Map
Historical records and underground blueprints do provide help, but they may not be enough to guarantee safe digging. You can never tell whether the utility lines might have moved because of natural or man-made causes, or new lines or cables might have been added.
This is the main reason why on-site inspections are necessary. Professional utility locators like the utility location services Colorado contractors prefer can locate sub-surface utilities in a lot of ways. This includes the use of underground camera inspection, electromagnetic detection, and concrete scanning to find buried utility lines. Results of the inspection will become the basis for the creation of an underground map which indicates the location of existing utilities. This map can serve as your reference when digging.
Accurate Underground Map = Safe Working Environment = Faster Work
The availability of an accurate underground map allows contractors to make adjustments on the layout construction or excavation plan. An underground map is valuable resource contractors can rely on even before the construction plan is developed.
An underground map makes work safer and faster for everyone. It makes people aware of the presence of facilities that can cause injuries or fatality when hit. If for example, someone accidentally hits a power line, injuries or even fatalities can happen. You can prevent these incidents by digging based on an underground utility map.
An underground utility map works to reduce hazards which causes interruptions to the community
Aside from injuries, there’s another possibility when a worker accidentally causes damage to a power line. It will certainly trigger a major power interruption in the area. If you are the contractor of this project, you will be held liable for the inconvenience of affected residents/businesses as well as the restoration of power in affected areas. This could result in costs which can negatively affect your revenues. Avoid scenarios like these by working with a trustworthy utility locator like the provider of utility location services Colorado excavators recommend prior to the planning stage of the construction project.
Ensure a smooth, continuous and cost-effective operation of your construction project by locating and mapping the location of underground utilities, and making it a part of your project plan.
While calling 811 or call-before-you-dig hotline is a big help, it really pays to be sure of the exact location, depth and direction of buried utility lines that get in the way of your construction.
With that said, whenever you have a construction project to do, be sure to have the subsurface utilities located and mapped before doing any digging operation.
Work with a trusted company like the utility locating contractors in Colorado for a safe, speedy damage-free excavation.
Call us at (303) 475-8420.