Underground Service Location

During the design or construction phase of a project, it can be critical to identify the location and condition of underground services.

Locating underground services helps eliminate design conflicts, takes the guesswork out of service records and provides certainty in the design phase, which in turn eliminates delays during construction. Underground Service Location also helps eliminate the risk during construction when working/excavating near underground services.

Location of Underground Services can be undertaken by a range of methods including vacuum excavation, electromagnetic detection, ground penetrating radar, 3D Scanning and surveying. Each method has a differing level of accuracy and an Australian Standard AS5488 applies for the location and identification of underground services. The standards apply quality levels as per below;

Quality Level A (QL-A)

The most accurate and reliable form of information for underground services as it involves physically exposing the service. Once exposed, horizontal and vertical location, material, condition, size and type of service can be captured. Typically Quality Level A Underground Service Location is acquired by vacuum excavation. If underground service location is critical to design, the only method to be confident of identification is exposure and direct survey of the service. This method meets the location accuracy standards for minimum risk when excavating.

Quality Level B (QL-B)

Provides underground service locations in three dimensions and achieved by tracing of service by electromagnetic frequency detection and survey of these positions. This method does not involve exposure of the service, therefore not as accurate as vacuum excavation. Electromagnetic Detection Methods has accuracy tolerances of ±300mm horizontally and ±500mm vertical position.

Quality Level C (QL-C)

Provides underground service locations based on interpretation and correlation of service records and site survey of visible features such as pits, valves, hydrants. As underground services are not exposed or traced by electromagnetic detection, position of underground services to QL-C is approximate only.

Quality Level D (QL-D)

The least accurate level of underground service location, this method involves obtaining information from records only, with no on-site verification of services.

Orion has extensive experience undertaking Underground Service Location for a range of projects and delivering data in various formats from Plans to 3D Models. Orion collaborates with reputable and accredited companies to undertake Underground Service Locations.

Underground Service Location

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