Locating Private Utilities

Source: Damage Prevention Professional - Summer 2010

Let’s examine an area of damage prevention that is rarely discussed. Most professionals understand that not all buried facilities are located when the call to 8-1-1 is made. Most state laws require certain facility owners to be registered with their respective One Call Center, but most privately owned facilities are not located when a One Call ticket is issued.  

Private Utilities 

There are many examples of private utilities and the possibilities seem to grow at an alarming rate. A typical property owner may have buried drainage pipes, irrigation, propane lines, electrical lines, invisible (pet) fences, satellite feeds, fire mains, wells, alarm systems, low voltage lighting, geothermal laterals, sewer lines, septic and water lines. Many businesses including airports, hospitals, town-home complexes, trailer parks and college campuses also have private utilities that they own or operate: telecom lines, cable, electric, drainage and alarms are just some examples.


The Risk  

Many of the inherent dangers with typical buried facilities such as gas and electric also exist with privately owned utilities. Hitting a certain private utility can cause obvious damage, serious in-juries, and even death.  Most states require the property owner to locate their own facilities, but do they always know that you will be working on their property? Do we communicate to them what work we are doing and what  their responsibility is? Usually not.  Failure to make sure that private locates are accomplished result in safety concerns for the public and the workers involved in the excavation. You may argue that you are not liable or responsible for the damage, but how much time do you spend on these damage claims or have down time while you’re in small claims court. 

private utility locating

811 Services

Handling of all of your One-Call needs including ticket handling and positive response.  

Using only state of the art equipment.


Dedicated Employees with experience and commitment to quality.  

Work closely with contractors on all construction projects such as road construction, site development and new utility installations. 

Daily check-ins and positive working relations are all part of a safe damage free project.  

Work with One Call enforcement officials to prevent damages due to neglect and to help familiarize non compliant contractors with the  "One Call" laws.  

Long Term Contract Locating based on tickets received.  

Short Term Contract Locating by the hour.  

Private Utility Locating using GPR and EM

Utility locators, construction professionals, environmental firms and land surveyors need a reliable, non-destructive method to locate subsurface targets prior to:  digging, trenching, conducting site assessments  and mapping   

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