Utility Locating

Utility location is the process of identifying and labeling public utility mains which are underground.

Utility Locating in NYCUtility Locating
These mains may include lines for telephones, electricity distribution, natural gas, cable television, fiber optics, traffic lights, street lights, storm drains, water mains, and wastewater pipes. In some locations, major oil and gas pipelines, national defense communication lines, mass transit, rail and road tunnels also compete for space underground.

Because of the many different types of materials that go into manufacturing each of these different types of underground lines, different detection and location methods must be used. For metal pipes and cables, this is often done with electromagnetic equipment consisting of a transmitter and a receiver. For other types of pipe, such as plastic or concrete, other types of radiolocation or modern ground-penetrating radar must be used.

Location by these means is necessary because maps often lack the pinpoint precision needed to ensure proper clearance. In older cities, it is especially a problem since maps may be very inaccurate, or may be missing entirely.

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