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The Importance of Utility Detection and Mapping

Before any construction project can take place, it’s essential for a utility detection survey to take place. Locating and charting underground and overground utilities will give a client a much better idea of the feasibility of their project. Modern detection techniques and color-coded utility mapping reduces the need for more invasive excavations and offers great clarity.

Why is utility detection so important? Well, anyone wishing to develop a certain site or piece of land needs to have an accurate survey that shows them where everything is. Once developers have carried out a site survey and mapped the utilities present, they must determine who owns them to avoid any potential legal difficulties. If a developer wants to change a site’s usage, it’s especially imperative to determine where utilities are situated.

For instance, demolishing or renovating an industrial unit in order to turn it into a residential property poses a number of questions: are there sufficient utilities available to cope with new demands? Or, is there anything buried underneath the surface that might require remedial work, such as any waste or other by product from the former site? Aided by high quality survey drawings, developers are able to answer these questions. Utilizing modern detection techniques, such as radio detection and ground penetrating radar, can help save time and money. Both private and public enterprise can benefit from utility detection and mapping.

After all, housing developers need to know where a gas supply is going to come from and councils can also benefit from a utility survey. For the latter, knowing how utilities are laid out is essential before anything such as street repairs can be carried out. This strikes at the importance of utility detection and mapping; rather than conducting a series of potentially costly exploratory excavations, locating utilities in advance can minimize the time and money spent on a project. Clients conducting surveys will have the benefit of their own permanent record detailing the location of utilities and other key topographical features.

This detailed information is priceless when it comes to avoiding unnecessary excavations and damaging services. The finalized data can then be referenced to an arbitrary grid and level datum while the drawing can also be applied to a specified grid & level datum and/or overlaid on an existing topographical survey. Additional information relaying the whereabouts of the key topographical features such as fence lines, kerb lines and street furniture can also be incorporated.

These can be alongside fixed surface utility features such as inspection chambers, valve boxes and telegraph poles. Utility detection and mapping is essential before any development can take place. Locating buried utilities is essential in order to avoid disruption and incurring additional costs. It’s always advisable to ‘think before you dig’ and conduct a utility detection survey before embarking on any project that would benefit from one.

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