My logo is “Seeing What You Can’t See” and producing accurate, affordable, and easily accessible utility maps for my customers has proven to be an invaluable service. The value of mapping utilities can be highlighted by a project I completed last summer for a building contractor at a public school in a small, rural town in Western Montana. After marking all utilities using EM and GPR locating methods between two school buildings where a new storm sewer line was going to be installed, I created the utility map shown below.
As the contractor was excavating a trench for the new line, he contacted a buried fiber optic line. He called me in a panic and told me that he hit a line that wasn’t marked. I pulled up the map I created and indeed the line was marked almost to the point of contact. However, after checking with the school and determining that no communication lines were affected, it was determined that the buried fiber line was installed by Mountain Bell and never put into service. I had informed the contractor before leaving the site that the line was not “locatable” beyond the point it was marked. We both got lucky because the line was never put into service, but at least I had discovered the line and informed him that I could not locate beyond the point I had marked it.
Shown below is a large mapping project I completed in Yellowstone National Park last fall. The park service has plans to build a new employee dormitory near Old Faithful. The park service and the architect wanted to know where the utility lines were located prior to drawing up blueprints for the new dormitory. As you can see, this map is quite large and having a utility map of the proposed building area was very valuable to the park service.
For more information on our “utility mapping” service,
please contact Brent Baumann at 406.579.3181
or visit our website at: www.geosearchservices.com
Remember Paul Harvey’s radio show: “Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of the story”. The next day Paul would come on the radio and finish the story from the day before and say, “And now you know the rest of the story!”
If a private utility locator is only using EM locating equipment, you will never know the rest of the story because he or she can only give you part of the story! Even with ground penetrating radar, finding all the buried utilities at a job site can be difficult depending on the type of subsurface soil materials and/or the moisture content. Soil materials with a high clay content and excessive moisture greatly limit a GPR’s ability to receive “signatures” from buried utilities.
As a former project geologist for over 20 years, involved in numerous drilling, earthwork and reclamation projects, I can tell you from experience that when you are getting ready to install piers, drill geotech holes, install monitoring wells or begin excavation at a project site, you want all the information you can get about what is buried beneath your drill or excavation site.
Having to stop a project, because you suddenly hit a buried metal or plastic pipe is a waste of your time, the contractor’s time and costs your client money he doesn’t want to spend. Knowing ahead of time that you may be encountering a buried utility on your project site may give you time to find out that it is simply an abandoned line and can be dug up. However, if it is a gas line, water line, power line or fiber optic line, and you broke it, there is costly repairs and down time.
Statistics and research indicate that approximately 60 to 65% of all buried utilities are private and will not be located by your 811 One Call. I can assure you that at any old service station site and at most construction sites, there is a lot more buried “stuff” in the ground than you think. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure”. I think Benjamin would agree, a few hundred dollars spent on a private utility locator using GPR technology combined with EM locating equipment is money well spent!
My job is to help you to see (using GPR) what is not located by the One Call system or what was buried, abandoned or discontinued 30, 40 or 50 years ago.
Call today for an estimate on all your private utility locating needs,
or check out my website for more information on my services and rates!
CALL US! 406-579-3181