Underground Asset Allocation Services

June 8, 2018

Trenching services are adapting to accommodate new regulatory frameworks. In the past, a competent person could show up with a few subsurface drawings and a handheld cable tracer. That approach is no longer practical, not when we have underground utility maps and new technologies to optimise the work. Ultimately, these resources exist to save time and money, and to keep the excavation team safe while they labour.

Mapping Concealed Utility Lines

Portable cable tracers are efficient, but they discover underground lines in a piecemeal fashion. It's like having tunnel vision, this approach, even when helpful maps and drawings are at hand. After all, many of the cables down there are live and sending out detectable electromagnetic signals, but what about the disused cables and pipelines? They're not nearly as easy to track down. Undoubtedly viewed as an essential part of trenching work, cable tracing services need help. That aid is available, courtesy of a more accurate ground mapping system.

The Challenges Facing Citywide Allocation Services

Standing on a street corner, the observable assets are easy to locate. There are manholes in the road, CCTV cameras positioned on-high, and drainage channels edging the pavements. Further down the street, an electrical substation is just in sight. From seeing all of these infrastructural elements, we can hazard a guess at the paths taken by the utility lines, and we'll certainly call in that cable tracer and subsurface drawings to optimise the service. All the same, for lack of an underground assets allocation service, this method of nailing down every active or inactive pipe and cable run isn't exactly productive, nor will it cut costs. Pushing convenience to the side, a savvy excavation service should opt for an approach that's as financially responsible as it is faultlessly accurate.

Utilising Subsurface Mapping Resources

Above and beyond cable tracing tools, there are other underground asset allocation tools available. While that portable tool is beeping away as it blindly follows an orthogonal scan pattern, the ground is being X-rayed by ground-penetrating radar. The little block of equipment moves forward on wheels like a strangely equipped lawnmower, or it's moved on a trailer behind a heavy-duty vehicle. Alternatively, fully equipped GIS (Geological Information Systems) are really pushing the envelope in this field. Tied to a GPS service and a data logging feature, fully surveyed GPR regions are beginning to take over from roughly scrawled maps.

Citywide infrastructural zones are packed with different services. There are live medium-voltage cables and wastewater pipes, disused cables and gas pipes, plus many other meandering utility runs. Keeping track of these services and acting as an underground asset allocation service, ground radar penetration technology records the position of every cable and pipe. Incidentally, this technology should always work in concert with a sound trenching methodology, one that continually records the locations and types of underground lines as they're installed.

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