For any queries not listed below, please feel free to email us directly.
What is utility location?
Utility location is a general term used to describe the process of finding and marking underground services and objects. It is often also called cable location or service location. Buried services include utilities such as phone, power, water, gas, sewer, and storm water, as well as less commonly known services like fuel supply lines, cable TV, and underground storage tanks.
How the services are traced depends on the type of service to be found and the environment in which the service is buried. How the location of a service is communicated depends on the requirements of the client. In its simplest form, the service position and depth are marked on the ground with temporary marking paint. If the client needs something more formal, the location of service/s can be surveyed and provided in the form of a plan or drawing.
Can all services be located?
How easily a service can be located is dependent on a variety of factors. Some of the things that determine whether a service can be traced are:
The type of service and material - Services that have a metal component such as power cables, older copper phone lines, iron manhole covers, cast iron gas, or water mains can often be more easily located. Non-metallic services such as plastic or PVC pipes, old clay or asbestos cement pipes, and fibre optics can limit the methods of location
What other services are close by - When services are bundled together, or there is a large number of services in close proximity, then it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between all individual services without potholing and physically sighting the services to provide confirmation
Underground service depth - Typically, common utilities such as power, gas, and telephone were each buried at specified depths, however this cannot be relied upon. Historically, depths below 1.5 metres were also uncommon for most services. Today, wastewater and storm water pipelines, and the use of modern thrusting and directional boring of services, has led to some utilities being buried at a much greater depths and therefore make them more difficult to locate. Special techniques are required to locate and identify deep services
How will services be shown on the ground?
Usually, services will be marked on the ground to show where they have been traced using temporary marker paint. Specific colours and symbols are used in order to indicate the different types of utilities. The Department of Labour (OSH) published the accepted colours and symbols in the Guide for Safety with Underground Services in 2002. More recently, NULCA NZ have been working on industry standardisation alongside Worksafe NZ and other stakeholders. ULS follows this convention for marking underground services.
What is AS5488?
AS5488 or Australian Standards AS 5488 - 2019 Classification of Subsurface Utility Information is a standard that establishes a framework for describing the information relating to underground services and the different levels of quality that are possible with the different methods that a service might be located and marked. The standard defines levels of quality that range from a low or less accurate service location (Quality Level D) through to the best or most accurate level (Quality Level A).
In general, ULS works to a Quality Level B, which involves an active method of locating using electromagnetic (EM) detection. Ground Penetrating Radar can be used for locating but under AS5488 it cannot be used to achieve a Quality Level B classification. Each Quality Level has a degree of accuracy that defines the margin of error that can be expected in the horizontal and vertical position of a recorded underground service.
Do you have terms and conditions?
Yes, terms and conditions cover all of the work we complete. All professional locating companies should have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance. To meet the requirements of these policies, ULS has a set of conditions that apply to each job. Our terms also cover fundamental business terms such as payment terms, penalties, invoicing, etc. When you book a job with ULS, you will receive a confirmation email that contains our current terms and conditions agreement.