What is GPR utility locating? Ground penetrating radar, or GPR, is a method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface and find buried utilities. It is ideal for finding nonconductive types of pipe, such as PVC pipes or septic tanks.
The way GPR works is that a radio signal is sent into the ground, after which the GPR reads the response of the signal and then shows an image of what’s below. UHF/VHF frequencies are the kind of signals directed into the ground, and the reflected signals from subsurface structures are collected and graphed.
When access is difficult or electrical current does not flow (i.e. there is a non-metallic element or a broken connection), or external noise makes electromagnetic detection impossible, GPR provides a valuable alternative. Some of the benefits of GPR utility locating are that it provides its own source of energy and detects both metallic and non-metallic objects, as well as detecting disturbed soil conditions and other buried structures.
The electrical conductivity of the ground, the transmitted frequency and the radiated power all affect the depth range of GPR. Higher frequencies do not penetrate as far as lower frequencies. However, higher frequencies may provide improved resolution. Thus, operating frequency is always a trade-off between resolution and penetration.
At Spearhead Locating, our utility locating professionals know how to make the best use of GPR and its capabilities for the locator. Our work conforms with CGA best practices and the APWA uniform color code.
We will work with your contractor to determine whether ground penetrating radar is the best fit for your utility locating needs. We work quickly, but as always, accuracy is our main goal! We want to be the ones to find the buried utilities in your property before you find them the hard way. Contact us today for more information or a free quote on our utility locating services!