A Guide To The Best Practices For Finding Underground Services

locating underground services

What methods are used to locate subsurface utilities on a regular basis? This page discusses dowsing, ground-penetrating radar, acoustic utility locators, hydro excavation, and electromagnetic utility locators. Locating Numerous specialised lines, such as electrical, gas, sewage, telecommunications, and water, are included in locating underground services. Although finding these services in a non-intrusive way has never been simple, it has become increasingly challenging in recent years due to the significant growth in utility lines. Both the safety of the construction personnel and the financial success of the construction company depend on precise placement. Finding underground utilities can be difficult if the signal is too weak or if there is interference from other sources.


There are numerous ways that underground lines transmit electromagnetic waves. Due to the fact that they carry their own electrical current, electrical power lines produce their own signals. The locator emits a signal that the utility line then radiates as a result of the metals it contains. Other lines, however, also produce EM signals by induction. Although the signals produced by induction are much weaker than those from power lines, contemporary locators can often still identify them at a practical distance. Depending on the make-up of the utility line, the frequency of the reradiated signal also varies considerably. Therefore, a significant portion of the operator’s task involves tuning a finder to the appropriate frequency. There are active and passive types of locating services.

  • Finding the path of a recognised utility line is a component of active locating techniques. The locator is either directly connected to the utility line by the operator or a signal at a specific frequency is transmitted into the ground and reflected back by the utility line.
  • Unknown lines are located using passive methods, usually by sweeping the region with the locator’s receiver. The operator searches a range of frequencies for EM signals that are being reradiated by utility lines. However, unlike active location, passive location does not allow the operator to differentiate between various utility line kinds.

Directional drilling clearance and soil boring

When carrying out utilities that require directional drilling, Phase I or II investigations, environmental drilling and sampling, locating underground services storage tanks, soil borings, constructing monitoring wells, or site cleanup, it is essential to locate underground services. With the help of our extensive network of Project Managers, aulocating is able to discover any vital utilities or USTs that can interfere with your drilling or excavation area as soon as we get on site.


When it comes to the accuracy and precision of our utility locating services, aulocating consistently outperforms the competition. We are prepared to work with utility providers as a team to handle one-call agreements or to support 811 locates by verifying utility locations using a variety of technologies or by offering depths and other details. Aulocating is the obvious solution for damage prevention whether supporting locating tickets for assets like public utilities, pipelines, and facilities or campuses on private land.