Lateral launch doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, there’s no real reason why aiming and launching a camera from one pipe to another should require sharpshooter skill. The technology is out there–it’s just a question of putting it to work.
In the utility locating industry, sondes are radio transmitters that are used to locate non-metal underground utilities. Sonde locating works best when you have an easy access point, as these transmitters are inserted into pipes to identify their location.
“Nuclear is a specialty niche,” explains Carl Beitner, operations manager at Elite Pipeline Services. As a contractor, “if you haven’t worked in nuclear, you won't work in nuclear without support. Safety is first and foremost throughout the industry, where even walking is considered working. And to work in nuclear, you must have conscientious, trustworthy employees and a clean record.”
Utility locators use a variety of equipment to perform their job. Locators decide which types of utility locating tools to use based on both the type of work being done and the kind of utility they are trying to locate. Reliable utility locating methods keep excavation crews and communities safe from hazardous utility strikes.
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Utility locating is a necessary service that keeps utilities operational, construction sites efficient, and communities safe. Effective locating requires the cooperation of locators, utilities, diggers (including homeowners, construction crews and contractors), and 811 operators to function correctly.
Utility locating is the process of finding and marking utility assets, such as sewer and gas lines, that are buried underground. Utility locates protect the public from disasters such as gas line explosions or electrocution, which can occur if excavators strike a buried utility. Failure to locate underground assets before any digging project can have serious, even life-threatening consequences. Utility locating services also limit disruptions like power outages, boil-water advisories and evacuations; minimize construction delays; and significantly reduce the possibility of bodily harm occurring on worksites.
Without looking, there’s no way to know for sure what your sewer cleaning crew will face underground. That makes choosing which jetter nozzle to use mostly a matter of guesswork. And without any pre-inspection visual information on pipe condition, cleaning crews risk wasting their time and money. A 2015 study even found that up to 35% of sewer lines are jetted unnecessarily as part of scheduled cleaning and maintenance. While CCTV crawlers are great inspection tools, they require a lot of manpower and can be pricey to operate on every cleaning job.
Utility locating is more complicated in urban, highly-populated areas where underground utilities are more dense. The population of metropolitan areas in the U.S. increased 9% between 2010 and 2020. However, less than half of all U.S. counties gained population during this period--which means, in general terms, more people are living in denser areas.