Is Calling 811 Enough Utility Locating?

utility locating

A common adage among contractors tends to be that utility locating is just “one call away.” This means that by calling 811, you can get in touch with the proper public locators that can tell you whether there are public lines running through your intended digging site. However, will this be enough?

What Does Calling 811 Do?

It is often considered protocol to call 811 before performing any excavations that can potentially interfere with underground utility lines. Why do we do this? Well, by calling 811 prior to digging, you can provide details on where you are going to dig and what kind of work you are planning to do. The operator you speak to will notify the potential facilities in the area where you are planning on digging. These companies will send a locator that will mark the approximate location of any underground utility lines you should be wary of. This simple process will allow you to carefully approach the digging process with potential risks in mind and therefore prevent potential damage to important utility lines.

utility locating

Is Calling 811 Enough?

Some contractors and individuals tend to think that calling 811 to figure out potential utility lines in a digging site is enough to prevent possible damage. However, what they don’t realize is that the locators sent out by them don’t label all of the utility lines. In fact, they tend to only mark down the public portions and not even in their totality. They mark down lines for electrical power, natural gas, and telecommunication. As you might imagine, this doesn’t include water lines, sanitary sewer pipes, and storm drain utilities. You don’t want to concern yourself with these issues or to surprisingly hit an unexpected pipe. This is why, although a good guideline if you want some official results, you should probably seek out a private locator who can help you beyond that.

Getting Accurate Utility Locating

The thing to keep in mind is that public locators don’t always carry out the full locating process themselves. A lot of the utility locating that they provide is based on the public records available, which means that you can’t always be completely sure about what they let you know unless they carry out the utility locating onsite. They will mark down the lines you should avoid and then, if possible, confirm with a private scanner that you’ve got all the lines down. Having done that, you can carry out the digging comfortably, knowing that the locating was accurate and thorough. It’s always good to be safe before you incur upon public property damage.

Contact Precise Scanning Solutions

Don’t risk it. Digging is always a delicate operation, for you never know whether you will hit utility lines or not. In order to prevent that, you can conveniently contact us at Precise Scanning Solutions. Through ground penetrating radar technology, we can scan the ground up to thirty feet deep, mapping out potential utility lines so that you can comfortably dig through. For utility scanning in the Los Angeles area, give us a call at (323) 321-7219. We’ll be there to help.

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