05 March 2018

How To Locate Utility Lines Under Your Yard


If you are considering doing any type of digging or building work in your own yard then you’ll need to start by considering where the utility lines are that serve your property.

In fact, you might even discover there are utility lines for other properties running under your ground! The last thing you want to do is dig straight into one, it can cause a serious injury. In addition you might find yourself facing a substantial bill to repair the problem.

This is why you need to ensure you understand the safe digging tips before you start digging. But, even before you start digging you should identify where the lines are:

Locator Service

You can contact utility location services which will provide you with a free quote to assess your yard. They will then use specialized equipment to scan the ground below your yard and determine what utility lines are present.

Most importantly, once they have located the lines they will be able to provide you with a detailed grid map showing you exactly where they are and how deep they are.

This is the most expensive solution but the best. You will know everything about the utility services running under your ground and what you should do. This usually involves digging somewhere else or staying above their level.

It is very rare that you will want to actually dig up the utility lines. Of course, if you do choose this route then you’ll need to proceed with maximum care. You shouldn’t use any sharp objects when digging near utilities. Water, electricity and you do not mix well together!

Check Your Documents

You can also take a look at the deeds for your house. They should mention if there are any utilities or easements on your property. If there are any it is unlikely that the deeds will give you the exact location and it is also possible that things have changed since the deeds were created.

This is a good guidance point but does not remove the need to use a locator service.

Utility Company

It is possible to call the utility company to get them to come out and mark where the utility lines are.
However, there are a few issues with this approach. You’ll need to contact all the different utility companies; the electric board won’t know where the water lines are.

You may also find there is a significant delay before they can come out, this will hold up your building project.

Additionally, they might not tell you how deep these utilities are, which will not help you to decide whether to continue with your project or not.

A locator service is the best option as they will deal with all utility lines in one go, provide you with depth, and even get to you very quickly.

In addition, they will provide you with guarantees and a host of other information on your land, including boundaries and any other issues you light not know about.

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