Underground Locating for Utilities

Olameter provides locating services for the buried assets of gas, electric, fiber optic, water & sewer utilities, and communications companies. Sites are marked with paint, flags, and offset marking using industry standard conventions so that excavation contractors will not inadvertently damage nearby facilities as they excavate.  Tickets can be completed with sketches for reference in the field.  We are capable of converting all data gathered in the field into formats suitable for the clients’ asset databases and for updating their as-built drawings.  We can also provide GPS mapping of locates performed in field. 

We provide contract locate services to utilities and municipalities, and offer private locate services in many areas across North America. 

As a locate contractor, we understand the importance of having a locate done properly - and safety is our number one concern. Our technicians undergo considerable training in order to master locating techniques and to have practical knowledge of how the buried facilities were originally constructed.  A syllabus with comprehensive testing has been developed for Olameter employees by Staking University, a leading state-of-the-art locate training facility.  Our technicians are reviewed and certified on a yearly basis.

Olameter uses TelDig’s electronic ticket management system to assign and redistribute workloads to our locators in the field. Our system allows ticket progress to be tracked in real-time. Benefits resulting from the use of this system include:

  • All field technicians receive tickets via real-time wireless or internet on their company laptops
  • Full compatibility with One-Call Centers, including positive response capability
  • Real-time Positive Response to the excavator via fax or e-mail
  • All events associated with the ticket captured in chronological order
  • Clients are granted full access to the system
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Locate Technique

Location is accomplished using one of the following basic techniques:

  • Electromagnetic Detection;
  • Ground Penetrating Radar;
  • HydroVac Excavation
  • Field measurement based on client supplied drawings

Electromagnetic Detection is the most common location method used.  Olameter uses equipment furnished by vendors such as RadioDetection, Ditch Witch, and Vivax-Metrotech. These devices measure the changes to magnetic fields detectable at the surface, which are caused by fluctuating electric current in electrically conductive pipes and wires buried at the site. The current may be native to a buried object (power or co-axial cable line), induced by a physical electrical connection at one end and a ground at some distance (gas, water, fiber-optic tracer wires), or generated by magnetic induction.

Ground Penetrating Radar (and sonar) are techniques that have been used by geophysicists for several decades. The technician induces an electro-magnetic pulse and measures the timing and direction of the echo. The viability of the technology is greatly affected by soil conditions; dry-sandy soils (largely non-conducting) being most advantageous. Olameter uses equipment provided by Sensors & Software Inc.

HydroVac Excavation is a physical inspection technique that involves a pair of specialized hoses: one that injects water from a nozzle at high pressure, and another that sucks the water and all loosened debris away. This process excavates a borehole that may be up to 20 feet deep. The equipment, water tank, and slurry (disposal) tank are delivered to site on a specialized truck. Waste materials are brought to local regulated sites for disposal. Pictures are taken down the borehole to confirm the presence of buried infrastructure. Once the process is completed, the hole is then backfilled with clean material. This technique, which is designed to be non-destructive, should not be confused with hydraulic fracturing.

Field Measurement involves using traditional site survey tools (GPS transponders and tape measure) to mark the site’s surface based on information taken from drawings supplied by the utility or communications company. This may be required at sites that are particularly congested, and is always a last resort.

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All of our locate personnel are subject to ISO 9001 quality audits, ISO 14001 environmental management audits, and OHSAS 18001 health and safety audits. All company vehicles are equipped with GPS and monitored 24/7.

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Damage Prevention Links

About Damage Prevention
Underground Locating
Damage Investigation
Pole Tests and Audits
Streetlight Audits
Private Locate Services
Facilities Maitenance
Radio Wave Leak Detection
Gas Leak Detection

Contact

Olameter DPG Smart Center
Toll Free: 1-855-286-4227


Pat Burk3
Pat Burk
Executive VP, US
734-786-1733
pburk@olameter.com

Brian Cole
Brian Cole
Director, Canadian Field Services
905-726-5506
bcole@olameter.com