Underground Locating

Olameter provides underground locating services for the buried assets of gas, electric, fiber-optic, water and sewer utilities, and communications companies, as well as property managers in many regions of the United States and Canada.

Locating and Marking Utilities

Sites are marked with paint, flags, and offset marking using industry-standard conventions so that excavators 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 the field.

Have a Question?

Interested in learning more about our utility asset services and data solutions? Get in touch with us today.

As a locating 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 audited and certified on a yearly basis. Olameter's ticket management system assigns and redistributes 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 are captured in chronological order
  • Clients are granted full access to the system

Locate Techniques

Location is accomplished using one of the following basic techniques:

  • Electromagnetic detection
  • Ground-penetrating radar
  • Hydrovac excavation
  • Field measurement based on client data


Electromagnetic Detection

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 ground level, which are caused by fluctuating currents 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

Ground-penetrating radar are techniques that have been used by geophysicists for several decades.The technician induces an electromagnetic 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

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 the 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 Based on Client Data

Field measurement involves using traditional site survey tools to mark the site's surface based on measurements relative to surface features (buildings, curbs, etc.) as on drawings supplied by the client. This may be required at sites that are particularly congested, and is always a last resort.

a man standing in a field

Quality and Safety

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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