Miss Utility (One Call, 811 or Call Before You Dig) is a standard way for homeowners and businesses to identify underground utilities in urban and suburban areas. However, private lines are not included in these surveys and can include a phone line in the back of the property, a line running from the house to a propane/fuel tank, or power lines to a shed. GeoModel, Inc. can provide the gap service that will allow for thorough site surveys and maps.
Miss Utility is one name for the new federally-mandated “Call Before You Dig” service. It is also known as “One Call” or simply “Call 811.” The number 811 is the national number to call if you don’t know the Call Before You Dig or Miss Utility number for your local or state area.
The 811 system is a free service that was started to help homeowners and contractors avoid hitting and breaking buried utilities during digging activities, such as planting a tree or building a deck. In most (if not all) states, calling 811 before you dig is the law.
Miss Utility (811) does not itself locate utilities. By calling 811, and starting a Dig Ticket, the 811 system notifies all of the public utilities that service your home or business that you intend to dig, and each utility company comes out to mark the locations of all of their utilities that are in public (and sometimes common) areas.
Homeowners and contractors must call the 811 number a few days prior to digging to be sure that the local utility companies have time to mark their utilities before the homeowner or the contractor begins digging. Waiting the few days for the mark outs, prior to digging, will protect you from personal injury, interruptions in utility services, and costs for repairs to damaged utility lines.
The limitation with the 811, Miss Utility or Call Before You Dig system is that the free service does not apply to utilities that are on private property. Private utility lines are buried utilities that are located on common or private property between the meter and a home or a commercial building.
Examples of private utilities are:
- underground sewer line from the main line in the street to the house or building
- water pipe from the meter box to the house or building
- lawn sprinkler piping
- invisible pet fence wires
- electric wires to lampposts or outbuildings
- propane lines from the tank to the house or building
What do you do, if by calling the free 811 number, you find out that you need to locate private utility lines? You must find a private utility locating service. The private locating services are usually not free, but they are the only other safe option.
GeoModel, Inc. is the private utility locating company that has the equipment, professional locators, and experience to locate underground utilities that are on your private property.
Conducting utility location surveys nationwide, GeoModel, Inc. has more than 20 years of experience and is known for locating private utilities that other companies cannot.
In areas of sandy soils, GeoModel, Inc. utilizes ground penetrating radar (GPR) to locate buried utilities. GPR uses a system with an antenna that transmits microwave energy signals into the ground and a digital computer that receives the returned signals and processes them into 2-D cross-sections of the subsurface. An example of a GPR cross-section can be seen at: http://geomodel.com/applications/utility-location, near the bottom.
GeoModel, Inc. also uses sophisticated metal detectors that can reach depths of up to 18 feet (6 meters) below the ground surface. Metal pipes, conductive pipes, and most electrical cables can be located with the metal and conductive objects detectors.
For smaller diameter electrical lines, small diameter metal pipes at deeper depth, and other types of utilities that carry a frequency, such as some fiber optic lines, GeoModel, Inc. utilizes a number of multi-frequency locators. The frequency locators can be used in passive mode, where one unit picks up the frequency emitted by the utility, or in active mode, where a transmitter is attached to the utility and a known frequency is passed through the utility and then the receiver unit is set at that same frequency to detect the buried utility.
To see if GeoModel, Inc. is available in your area please visit our website at http://www.geomodel.com.