Why use multiple methods of locating?

Having multiple underground locating technologies, including GPR, Radio Frequency (RF) Pipe and Cable Locators and Electro-Magnetic
Pacific Coast Locators help show why it’s the best way to obtain thorough utility locating surveys. A wide variety of underground locating technologies can confirm what was previously found as well as assist in discovering new utilities. Each of these technologies has its own specific strengths and maximizing those strengths provides a more concrete utility locate.
GPR for Hollow Pipes and Non-Conductive Materials
GPR, or Ground Penetrating Radar, is essential for locating hollow, non-conductive pipes and conduits. GPR is a wave-based technology similar to aerial radar or a fish-finder type SONAR. The GPR software will give the technician a real-time image of what the wave reflects off. The images show on the technician’s screen as peaks and hyperbolas. We make sure to train all of our technicians thoroughly because experience is absolutely essential for operating the equipment. Technicians should always know what may be a target utility versus an anomaly. This is another one of the reasons why we have annual refresher training.
Radio Frequency (RF) Pipe and Cable Locators
Radio Frequency Pipe and Cable (RF) locators are the bread and butter for any sound utility mark-out. These locators use radio frequencies that are either conducted (direct connect) or inducted (generated through the ground) onto pipes or cables that lend themselves to carrying a radio wave. A receiver is then employed in picking up the generated signal and following it as it runs beneath the ground. An experienced technician can interpret good traces from ghost traces and establish a good locate. RF locators are useful for conductive materials only.
Electromagnetic (EM) Profiling Locators use electromagnetic waves to profile the conductivity or resistivity of the ground and provide imaging based on those values. These images can often narrow a search area so that an underground tank (UST) or structure can be found. Corresponding utilities can then be located with the previously mentioned Utility Locating methods. Call or email us about your next project and we’ll show you how we do it.

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