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What Is Underground Mapping Used for?

October 31, 2017

So what exactly is underground mapping? It is a type of survey which uses state-of-the-art equipment to allow one to see what is buried underground. Advanced detection technologies such as electro magnets and radar that can penetrate through the ground and be used to compose a detailed survey of what lies beneath the ground in a specific area. Underground mapping can play a very important part before excavation works are carried out. For example, if the council are planning on carrying out road works it is imperative they know exactly what they will find underground before they start drilling and digging. Underground mapping can help detect old buried mines, buried fuel tanks, old air-raid shelters and a host of other things. Having the knowledge of what is buried can ensure any planned work is carried out safely, without fear of a workman falling into a disused mineshaft for example.

One of the most important underground mapping services carried out today is utility mapping. Utility mapping is vital before any excavation works are carried out in residential or public areas. It can be used to locate metal pipes, plastic pipes, drainage systems, electricity cables, telecoms and fibre optic cables. Once everyone is aware of what utility services are underground they can ensure they will not burst a main water pipe or drill through an electricity cable accidentally, which could cause chaos for nearby residents or cause accidents. Because the utility mapping is non-evasive, it is carried out quickly without causing too much disruption, especially if the utility mapping service is taking place in a busy high-street or next to a school for example.

The non-invasive equipment shows up everything that is under the ground, and then the position of any detected utility is marked on the ground surface in a biodegradable paint, colour coded depending on the utility type. A line diagram is painted showing the direction of the utility, and the depths of the pipes or cables are recorded if it is possible to measure them with the equipment used. The information drawn on the ground is an accurate ‘map’ of what is underneath and where everything is positioned. When all the information is marked clearly on the ground in paint the survey results can be looked at by site workers, who can then plan where it is safe to drill and dig without causing any disruption or unnecessary danger. It is clear to see why underground mapping is important and cost effective in the long term.

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