Understanding Underground Asset Location: Why is this Done?

July 15, 2020

One part of any construction project that helps establish a strong foundation and structural support for a building is excavation. The foundation of every residential building or commercial facility must be installed on the grounds so that they can withstand different weather and natural disturbances like typhoons, floods, and earthquakes. It also provides the stiffness and strength needed by a specific building in resisting vertical forces of gravity.

But before conducting any excavation works, a contractor must do an underground check first. Most cities here in Australia utilise various utility services that are installed underground. Without conducting any thorough assessment, utilities like power, water, gas, and internet access might be directly affected, which can incur more expenses just to repair the damaged utility lines. Cutting off the supply of these utilities will not only affect your project, but it can also affect homes, businesses, and public buildings around the area and your neighbourhood.

Principles of Underground Asset Location

To effectively assess the condition of subsurface, a contractor must conduct an underground service that will determine the location and condition of any existing underground assets. Some services and assets like power, gas, water, gas, phone connection, and internet might be buried below the ground of a construction site. The existence of these utility lines is possible if the site has a building before. If the site is near a water treatment plan or has been an electrical power station, then water or power lines are surely tucked below the site. Some of these utility lines might still be functional, that is why a thorough underground assessment must be conducted to accurately come up with a safe excavation plan.

Locating underground assets is initiated by locating the trench and its depth. Afterward, the route of the ground channel is mapped. If there are any existing maps of underground assets, then they will be used as a guideline for the whole assessment. Any underground cables, pipes, and tanks are then evaluated, scanned, and marked if they are either application-stripped or fully functional.

The Need for Locating Underground Assets

Understanding the locations of underground assets is very important in every construction project. Contractors have the responsibility to not only construct a building within the agreed and approved plans and timeline, but they must also perform all their duties without affecting and disrupting the utilities of the surrounding neighbourhood. Construction tasks like excavation, drilling, and other cutting methods must be done with full consideration of all the possible active lines and tanks below ground.

Aside from preventing any disturbances within the network of underground services, locating underground assets can also help prevent any damages, danger, and health risks. Active gas tanks that are accidentally drilled might leak, cause burns, and ultimately explode as gas particles accumulate on site. Onsite workers might also be electrocuted or sustain other electricity-related injuries as they drill on live wires. Sudden flooding underground might also put the lives of the workers in danger. Water leakage can also wash away roads and pavements if ever water pipes burst.

Underground asset location is very important in excavation and any other construction projects as it accurately identifies the location of vital utility lines and tanks. Marking all the live lines and tanks is intended to prevent damaging them while conducting underground activities. If you want help with locating underground assets, feel free to contact us at Metro Pits.

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