Underground Utility Detection

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We offer a variety of detection services including underground services, concrete scanning and material thickness testing. The overall benefits to the clients are:

  • High level of safety measures;
  • Minimise utility damage; and
  • Risk management.

Underground Services Locations (USL) is a function that requires highly trained staff and specialised equipment. Our technicians use a combination of Electromagnetic Locators (EML) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to locate all types of buried utilities.

Electromagnetic signals are induced into target conductive lines such as steel water pipes and electrical cables. The target signal can then be traced using a receiver. Exact depth and positions are determined. GPR is used to locate non-conductive service such a PVC watermains and fibre optic cables.

Change in density and conductivity in soil conditions are displayed as hyperbola on the radar display unit. Our Underground service location team service various industries across South Africa and internationally.  Amongst our clients are consulting engineers, municipalities, industrial plants, construction and small civils, environmental consultants and parastatals.

When required, USL survey results are mapped by engineering surveyors. The survey results can be presented in different formats, depending on our client’s needs:

  • Colour-coded markings on the ground: This suits clients such as small civils contracts whose main requirement is to avoid damage to buried utilities during excavations.
  • 2D AutoCAD layouts: Suited to municipalities that require utility networks mapped.
  • 3D AutoCAD layouts: Preferred by the consulting engineering sector. Utility plans with attributes on the correct datum on 3D models assist in the design of new bulk water infrastructure.
  • GIS: Mapped utility layouts can be converted to GIS shape files ad attributes added as per the client’s requirements.
  • Utility Data Sheets: Often a pre-requirement for engineering design purposes.

We also offer concrete scanning services which is a specialised type of scanning  in order to detect embedded re-enforced bars (rebar) within any type of concrete structure. Rebar is used in concrete structures to provide tensile strength to concrete structures and drilling through concrete structures without the knowledge of the rebar layout within it could prove extremely detrimental to the structure and project.

The advantages of Concrete Scanning are:

  • Rebar and voids avoidance;
  • Utilities clearance;
  • Load capacity design verification; and
  • Time & Cost Saving.

We also offer material thickness testing of various structures utilising specialised equipment. Owning our own Elcometer MTG8, which is the top-of-the-range gauge with built-in functionality, allows us to measure material thickness on virtually any material. The testing technique used is non-destructive meaning there is no damage caused to the material. The method is quick and robust and is used in most industries in assessing the condition of aging infrastructure.