Our work begins where the 811 locating system ends. While the 811 “Call Before You Dig” service will provide some information about public utilities, they won’t provide you the full picture. Master Locators will supplement their work by giving you a more complete and accurate picture of utilities under the ground through our private utility locating services. The information gained is crucial to reducing the risk of costly accidents or project delays.

How Does It Work?

We use electromagnetic (EM) utility locating tools in conjunction with ground penetrating radar(GPR) to provide you with a clear picture of what’s underneath your project site. It’s our standard practice to use 3 different tools on every project, improving the accuracy and reliability of the data we collect. We can customize the deliverables to fit your project needs, from detailed electronic sketches to full utility mapping with GPS coordinates, as well as GIS updates.

Why Do I Need Private Utility Locating?

It is the unknown that provides the most risk for your project. Private utility locating will provide full mark outs for all utilities on private property, taking you from “I think” to “I know.” This information plays a critical role in de-risking your project and eliminating costs associated with unexpected findings on the job site.

About 65% of all utilities are privately owned, not public, so they won’t be documented by services like 811 locating. Private utility locating won’t replace the services provided by 811, but ideally we should be called to follow after 811 marks public utilities within your project area. Our private utility locating service provides a reliable picture of your project area.

We do not provide geophysical, geological, land surveying or engineering services. If you need such services, please contact an appropriate professional.


How deep can your equipment locate lines?

  • Electromagnetic Scanning - Depth ability of Electromagnetic Scanning (EM) is dependent on many variables including the type of soil, amount of moisture, and local interference, but the depth capability is generally up to 20’ feet deep in standard soil conditions.
  • Ground Penetrating Radar - There is a common rule of thumb that GPR can detect objects that are 1 inch in diameter for every foot of depth. In practice, however, we have proven to be able to detect much deeper than this generalization.

How accurate are your marks and what type of guarantee do I have?

While Level A is the only way to guarantee the location of a utility, we expect to mark every utility accurately.  When we leave a project site, we will communicate any utility designation that we feel may not be accurate due to technology or specific limitations created by the site.  Due to the known limitations of technology available, we recommend hand digging inside of 24 inches from the outer edges of the underground utility.

Can you detect the depth of a utility line?

We can give estimated, but not exact depths of the lines we locate.