From GPR to Radio Detection Services: Which Should You Use?

Which Underground Utility Location Service Should You Use?

Whether a project is residential, commercial or civil, underground utility location is important if the project involves excavation or breaking ground. Conducting it prevents work-related injuries & accidents from happening and damage to existing subsurface utilities later on. On that, there are different solutions used by service locators from Concrete Scanning to Radio Detection Services. Sydney firms like us may use one or a combination of these to provide the most accurate data depending on the needs of the project.

What is Underground Utility Location?

Before we discuss the different subsurface utility detection services, let’s briefly define what underground utility location is. As mentioned by the phrase itself, it is the process of detecting, locating & mapping utility or service systems found underground. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Electric power lines, conduit & cables
  • Drinking water, sewage & drain lines
  • Flammable material lines such as gas, petroleum & steam

As mentioned above, it is critical to conduct subsurface utility locating services. Sydney projects need to have it done prior to any excavation work. It safeguards the safety of workers and prevents damage to existing utility infrastructures.

Which Underground Utility Location Solution Should You Use?

Of the following utility locating services, Sydney locators may use one or a number of these depending on the needs of a project.

Radio Detection Services

Which Underground Utility Location Service Should You Use?

Radio detection services locate utilities made of metallic or conductive material like electric power lines & water pipes. In this solution, locators put an electrical current into a service then trace its location, direction & depth.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Service

Which Underground Utility Location Service Should You Use?

GPR uses radio waves or radar pulses to locate non-conductive underground utilities. These include post tension cables & stormwater drainage pipes. It’s a widely-used locating solution since it doesn’t require any physical contact with utilities.

Concrete Scanning

Which Underground Utility Location Service Should You Use?

Concrete scanning detects & records features and objects within concrete structures like a wall or foundation. It uses a GPR or an X-ray, or both. It’s conducted when a project requires concrete cutting & core drilling.

CCTV Inspection

Which Underground Utility Location Service Should You Use?

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) inspection visually probes the interiors of pipelines, drainage & sanitary systems. It shows the internal condition of pipes. This is used for rehabilitation projects, among others.

3D Scanning & Modelling

Which Underground Utility Location Service Should You Use?

This method analyses actual or real-world environments or objects using special equipment. Afterwards, locators use the data gathered to generate 3D models. This solution allows for better visualisation & evaluation at any angle with the detailed 3D model it creates— a great aid in planning, design & problem-solving.


There are various service locating solutions that may cater to the needs of your project, from Concrete Scanning to Radio Detection Services. Sydney clients who need the most accurate data should hire locators who use high-quality equipment & possess a wealth of experience in the industry. And here at One Search Locators, we have rendered our expertise to different projects over the years. Some of the latest ones are the North Bondi Asset Renewal, Sydney NBN Installation & The Tank Stream in Sydney. To learn more about our utility detection services & get a quote for your requirements, give us a call today at 1300 530 420. You can also send us an email via [email protected].

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