pdf icon Download Utility Locating FAQ (PDF)

  1. What's a 'One Call' Service?
  2. Who does a One Call Utility Locator work for?
  3. Is there a cost for One Call Locating?
  4. Which lines do One Call Utility Locators mark?
  5. Is Global GPR Services a One Call locator?
  6. What services do Private Locators provide?
  7. What utility locating services does Global GPR Services offer?
  8. Why use a GPR Service since we are using One Call locating?

 

1. What's a 'One Call' Service?

The term 'One Call Service' has become a generic name for organizations which coordinate utility locate services. In most cities and towns across North America there are service organizations calling themselves 'One Call', 'Miss Utility', 'Utility Notification Center', etc. These organizations were created to assist you with getting local utility companies to mark where their underground lines are buried on your property or leading to your property. All utilities need to be located before you excavate to avoid damage to the utility lines or injury to yourself and contractors. In many areas it is law. Click here for links to One-Call services.

A One Call organization usually does not provide the locate service. These organizations have their members (utility companies) who have agreed to dispatch a Utility Locator to mark their services when they receive the service order (referred to as a 'Ticket') from the One Call organization. Unfortunately not all of the utility companies have agreements with the One Call service. You should ask your local One Call service which companies will be dispatched and which utilities will be marked. You then need to contact any utility companies that are not members of your local One Call service in order to have them come out and mark their specific buried utilities.

Return To Top

2. Who does a One Call Utility Locator work for?

A standard utility locator may be an independent company contracted to provide standard utility locating for one or a number of utility companies. One or more standard locators may be dispatched to do the locates. This will depend on the arrangement your local One Call Service has with their Members .

Return To Top

3. Is there a cost for One Call Locating?

The cost of the One Call utility locating service is paid for by the utility company Members in many locations. However, in some areas there may be a cost for this service. This can be confirmed when you call your local One Call service.

Return To Top

4. Which lines do One Call Utility Locators mark?

Most utility locators contracted by the One Call Members only mark the main line for that specific utility company. Which means that any private lines branching from the main line may NOT be marked. You will have to hire a Private Locating Company to locate and mark those lines . Also, in many areas, One Call locators only mark lines leading up to the private property and do not mark lines on the private property. Utilities are typically marked by paint using Industry Standard Colors (click to see chart).

Return To Top

5. Is Global GPR Services a One Call locator?

No. Global GPR Services (Ontario) is a strictly a Private Locator using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to locate and mark underground utilities and any subsurface anomalies (which includes secondary utility lines, private utility lines, buried underground storage tanks, septic systems, etc.) on your private property.

Return To Top

6. What services do Private Locators provide?

They are generally contracted to locate underground utilities on your private property which were not marked by the One Call Locator. Some private locate companies will only locate buried lines from the utilities marked by the One Call service. They do this by placing a trace signal using a Radio Detection or Electromagnetic (EM) device on the lines to identify where they are buried. Although this can be an accurate method it is possible to miss some of the utilities which were not identified by the One Call service. The more comprehensive and accurate underground survey is conducted by Private Locators who also use additional technologies such as Ground Penetrating Radar.

Return To Top

7. What utility locating services does Global GPR Services offer?

Our company specializes in non-destructive subsurface locating and mapping utilizing Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). With this technology we are able to locate not only primary and secondary utility lines but also many other targets buried subsurface which are costly to repair and can be dangerous to the excavator or contractor. Our company has experienced GPR technicians who will analyze the data collected on site. With this data we can also create detailed mapped reports with interpreted locations and depths plotted to scale on your site plan.

Return To Top

8. Why use a GPR Service since we are using One Call locating?

The benefits that Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) provides are many. The depth and lateral position identification of underground utilities is more accurate with GPR. Ground Penetrating Radar is able to locate buried utilities constructed of different materials such as plastic and PVC. It is also possible to locate buried utilities which do not have a trace wire or element. GPR surveyors often collect data of the entire excavation area in a grid format. This means more area is covered and all unknown objects can be identified. Buried lines may be missed with traditional (Electromagnetic) locate equipment if induction mode is being used and the transmitting antenna is not in line with the utility. This is not an issue for a GPR technician. They can locate utilities running in obscure directions. Also a 3D map of the ground and its infrastructure can be developed using the GPR data that has been collected. This is beneficial for identifying utilities in congested areas and pre-engineering purposes. Due to varying ground science (i.e. soil type, soil mineralization, moisture content and conductivity) and the different materials used there is no technology which is 100% accurate. However, combining traditional EM locating and GPR surveying is your safest bet.

Return To Top