The Challenge


Master Locators providing private utility locating services for properties of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. There were two parts to the project that both required our team to locate and mark all the locatable utilities on the designated properties. Using ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic scanning services, we were able to locate the utilities and provide a recommendation for the next phase of the project.

How We Did It


For the first part of the project, we were tasked with finding a gas line that was running through the scope of work. There were a few obstacles at the job site, including restricted access to buildings, unreliable sketch and congestion of utilities that made it difficult to differentiate gas lines. In the locations that we had access to valves, our service technician used GPR to locate the gas lines. However, in some areas, we were unable to push GPR because there was excavation happening on the street. To solve this issue, we worked in collaboration with PA 811 and One Call to mark out the mains on the housing properties up to the valves. We located the gas line and lateral using GPR and performed test holes to confirm the marked out gas line. 

The second part of the project required us to locate gas lines using electromagnetic scanning and GPR. We located the communications and electric lines within the scope of work, but it was difficult to distinguish the utilities because of the congestion of lines. It was our recommendation for the Philadelphia Housing Authority to use air or hydro excavation to confirm utility location and distinction.

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