Most underground wires, pipes, drain lines etc on your property are private utilities thus Miss Utility / Virginia 811 does not locate.
Miss Utility / 811 is supposed to locate all the public utilities up to the meter or box on your house in addition to any public utilities running through your property like city storm drains, power lines, gas lines and sewer main lines. However, Miss Utility / 811 doesn’t always mark all the underground utilities on your property. Some of our customers have reported reasons such as “can’t go past a fence” and “dogs are in the yard.”
The tech will say the “rest of the line to be marked is private”. That’s where we come in.
Understand that Miss Utility will mark the public side of the water main up to the meter. Most of the time, the meter is near a sidewalk or street. That leaves the water pipe from the meter to your house as a private line and is your responsibility to have located and marked by a private utility locator.
The sewer line that runs through your yard probably isn’t getting marked either as it may be classified as a private line. Septic system, well lines, propane lines are all considered private too. The same with power to a detached garage, shed or shop. Buried lines to your pool equipment, pool house and irrigation main lines are private lines too and you need to hire a private utility locator to mark them.
In Northern Virginia and Maryland, there are many farms that we’ve serviced. We often locate plastic water lines to the pasture waterers and the private power lines running to pump houses and barns.
We understand the request for “the exact location and depth.” of your underground pipes and buried wires. There are many factors that go into locating utilities. On the VA811 website, they say “… will mark the approximate horizontal location of underground utilities to the point of consumption.” They can be off the mark by two feet on each side.
Here is how we do it– we have an electronic transmitter that allows us to apply a traceable signal to a known, visible utility/target. We must be able to “clip-on” or “clamp around” the utility with our equipment. This works with all metallic pipes and wires. With the transmitter sending a traceable signal down the line. Then we use a wand-like receiver and wave it over the ground to find the highest reading. When the strongest signal is determined, we mark the ground. Walking and swinging, walking and swinging. This is what we call “a good locate.”
If the underground private utility you are looking for is plastic or non-metallic, we have several ways to try to locate those. Video pipeline inspection cameras and push-rods with transmitters are two options at our disposal– we can push down the lines to verify the location and path. This is if we can get in the pipe through a clean-out fitting or some sort of access point, and get past all the fittings. Every job has its own challenges.
The new building codes, and old ones, require a “trace wire” to be installed with any non-metallic / plastic pipe. Enforcing this is is a major issue in our industry.
If there is no trace wire and no access for a push-rod or camera, ground penetrating radar (GPR) may be your only option.
Click here to read what va811.com and Miss Utility say about private utility location. [link va811.com/privatec-utilities-explained/]. They even have a great video to highlight what they are saying.
We offer state-of-the-art private utility locating services to our clients in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. We have the extensive field expertise and latest technology to get the job done. We focus on providing high-quality locating services that will not only meet legal and regulatory requirements, but will truly protect your underground facilities.
We understand that accuracy and quality really do count when it comes to utility locating.
We make it our priority to complete requests on time, and we keep the lines of communication open with all partied involved, including excavators and utility owners. Our private utility locating services are advanced and efficient. Leak detection and underground line locating in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. We are equipped with the experts and the tools and technology to find or locate anything buried underground. Line Locators prides itself in being one of the best providers of high-quality utility locating services that can and will help you find what you seek.
This is not an exhaustive list. Our technicians have travelled all over Virginia & Maryland. We have also worked in West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Colorado. If you would like to inquiry about our services at your location, complete this brief form.