Locating private water and sewer utilities is one of the most common services Piedmont Locating Services provides. Every home and business has a water source and means of disposing of sewage. We’ve been meeting that need for homeowners, landscapers, plumbers, electricians, and builders in the Triad and the Triangle since 2010. It’s become something of a specialty.
Modern residential water wells have a plastic pipe and a wire that powers the pump buried together from the wellhead to the house. With the right tools that’s a simple task, but what if one of those components has been replaced, or a second pipe installed to deliver water to another location?
Finding a plastic pipe not buried with an electrical cable or other tracing element requires ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology. Locating utilities with GPR is a little more complicated than tracing a signal along a wire. Soil type, compaction, and moisture content are just a few variables that affect GPR’s ability to see beneath the surface. Surface features can also limit the effectiveness of GPR including:
- trees & shrubs
- stone-lined paths
- playground equipment
- ornamental features
Rocks below the surface can mimic a pipe or wire on the GPR screen, and tangled tree roots make some utilities almost impossible to distinguish. Septic systems are especially challenging because each system and its setting is unique.
One of the first questions we usually ask anyone requesting septic locating is, “Do you have a copy of the septic permit map from your county inspections office?” Most counties have records for systems built in the last thirty or forty years. Having the permit map saves time and money, and helps us produce the most complete picture of your system.
If no records are available we can usually find enough pieces of the puzzle to come up with a general picture of the system footprint.
We can’t promise to find every piece of every system every time, but after more than thirty years of locating underground infrastructure, if we can’t find it, only a shovel will.
If conditions on your site look unfavorable we’ll tell you that before we commit to an appointment.
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Or if you’d prefer, call or text 336-391-5542.