Surface Utility Locating

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Excavating test holes to determine the precise horizontal and vertical location of existing utilities is performed in the final design and early construction phases of a project.

Highest level of accuracy

Nondestructive exposure of underground objects at pre-determined target points

Preferred final step for high congestion underground utility network

Visual inspection provides valuable information about objects below ground


See how we can help – tell us about your project.

What is subsurface utility locating?

The client identifies precise points at the project site that may conflict with a proposed design. Vacuum excavated test holes are dug at each point through the use of specialized equipment to reveal the exact location of any below ground objects. With the object exposed, its characteristics are inspected and documented through photographs and data collection, including depth, type, size and condition. Once the inspection is complete, the hole is restored to its original condition by backfilling and compacting the original soil and replacing turf or patching paved surfaces.

We typically work with:

  • Civil Engineers
  • Surveyors
  • Local Municipalities/State & Federal Agencies
  • Private Utility Companies
  • Contractors
  • Land Developers

Accumark’s subsurface utility locating process

We typically work with:

  • Obtain required permits for digging test holes
  • Field stake specific points of proposed design features that are in possible conflict with existing utilities
  • Locate existing buried utilities structures that may conflict with proposed design
  • Excavate 12″ x 12″ test holes using non-destructive, vacuum excavation to expose the utility
  • Maximum depth capacity is 20 feet
  • Restore test hole to its original condition and mark with APWA uniform color code
  • Produce client deliverables:
    • Test hole inventory report documenting all data findings with digital images
    • Total station survey of test hole locations for AutoCAD mapping of project site

Quality Level Designations According to Cl/ ASCE 38-02 

Quality Level D: Contacting Utility Owners/ Records & Oral Recollection Research/Data Collection 

Quality Level C: Visual Site Survey to Confirm All Above-Ground Features/Findings Added to QLD Records 

Quality Level B: Line Designating via Electromagnetic Devices/Marking with Color-Coded Paint Markings 

Quality Level A: Identifying Precise Horizontal/ Vertical Locations at Specific Points by Digging Test Holes 

Additional Utility Services We Provide

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SUBSURFACE UTILITY DESIGNATING & MAPPING

Providing the horizontal locations or existing buried utilities and structures, a critical step to initial design and civil engineering phases.

GROUND PENETRATING RADAR

GROUND PENETRATING RADAR

Non-destructively locates subsurface targets prior to digging, trenching, or conducting site assessments.

GROUND PENETRATING RADAR

SUBSURFACE UTILITY LOCATING

Excavating test holes to determine the exact horizontal and vertical location of existing utilities, a critical step to final design and early construction phases.

GROUND PENETRATING RADAR

PIPE INSPECTION

Excavating test holes to determine the exact horizontal and vertical location of existing utilities, a critical step to final design and early construction phases.