FAQs

As you may have discovered, our industry is filled with a lot of questions!  The methods used to locate facilities that are underground are not an exact science.  It is often necessary to utilize multiple techniques to get a full understanding of everything that exists.  So please take some time to read through the questions we are asked most often.

Question: At what point do utilities become private?

Answer: Utilities become private at a point of demarcation, such as a master meter or the point at which a utility line enters private property, be it commercial or residential. Private Utility Locating Solutions (PULS) supplements the One-Call system.

Question: Who marks private utilities?

Answer: Once utility lines are determined to be private, either from drawings or the one call system has coded a ticket with “Marked up to privately owned utility”, a firm such as PULS is contracted to investigate and mark these lines. Some facilities may have in-house personnel, but they typically do not have the training, the various pieces of electromagnetic and GPR equipment or experience that PULS technicians have.

Question: Will a One-Call system design ticket provide you with complete and accurate utility information?

Answer: Design tickets vary from state to state, as to the level of information (if any) a utility owner is required to supply a designer, and the time frame in which it has to respond. There are generally no penalties enforced if an owner does not respond, which is common. The end result of information received via a design ticket is typically a mix of field marks and utility records, often not complete. Feedback from the design community has not been favorable. A design ticket WILL NOT contain any data regarding Underground Storage Tanks (UST’s), abandoned utilities or empty duct systems, to name a few items that are critical to identify before construction. The money invested in hiring a private utility locating firm more than pays for any delays in receiving utility information as well as the accuracy and completeness of the utility information.

Question: What should you expect from a full service private locating company?

Answer: One that has a wide variety of equipment including high and low frequency electromagnetic locators, GPR, Vacuum Excavation, CCTV, traceable rodders and utility mapping capabilities. A field sketch (click on field sketch to see an example) of the marked utility lines is a standard deliverable from PULS, Inc.

Question: Why use a specialized firm like PULS to mark and map your utilities?

Answer: Liability and accuracy. PULS, Inc. has performed thousands of private locates on all types of utilities at a variety of complexes. From military bases and college campuses to industrial sites and government facilities. PULS, Inc. will verify the marks put down by the local One-Call system to check their accuracy. PULS, Inc. will also employ Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to scan for Underground Storage Tanks (UST’s) and investigate non-metallic or abandoned lines.