Service Locating | TDG Environmental
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What is Service Locating?

Underground service locating is the important process of identifying the location and depth of underground utilities and infrastructure, such as gas lines, water pipes, electrical cables, telecommunication lines, sewer, or stormwater drainage pipes.


Service Locating is an essential process that utilises advanced techniques like EMI (Electromagnetic Induction) and GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) to accurately locate underground utilities and infrastructure. By employing these methods, our Service Locators can identify the presence and location of buried cables, pipes, and other subsurface assets.

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The use of EMI allows service locators to detect the electromagnetic signals emitted by buried utilities, providing valuable information about their depth and position. GPR uses radar pulses to create detailed images of the subsurface, revealing the presence of both metallic and non-metallic objects.


With the help of these technologies, service locators can deliver high-quality reports that include comprehensive information about the location, depth, and type of underground utilities. These reports are crucial for various industries, such as construction, engineering, and infrastructure development, as they ensure the safety and efficiency of excavation and construction projects.


By combining EMI and GPR, our Service Locators can accurately map out the underground landscape, facilitating informed decision-making and minimizing the risk of damage to existing utilities.

What problem does Service Locating solve?

Find underground utilities

Map your critical underground assets to keep an accurate record and inform any future work and avoid putting these assets at risk.

Avoid costly damage, or investigate existing damage/faults

Without being able to see them, buried utilities are at risk of damage or undiscovered faults. Utility locating and mapping gives you the advantage of visibility, allowing you to avoid damage occurring, and to investigate any existing damage or faults.

Safely dig or excavate around critical systems, keeping your project to schedule

With your underground utilities located and mapped, your projects can proceed without the costly delays of discovering and/or damaging undiscovered services.

Planning future construction projects

The mapping and pre-excavation plans provided as part of our utility location services equip you and your contractors with everything you need to know to plan and future construction or site excavation.

Service Locating features and what makes our service unique?

Our underground utility locating services can detect:

  • Utilities through concrete
  • Water leaks 
  • Faults in cables

All of these details will be noted in your location report, along with the location of utilities, the utility type, and the depth of the utility from the surface. 

Our experienced service locating crews use the latest technology, finding and tracing assets efficiently, and quickly identifying anything that needs further investigation. Our team uses three primary methods of electronic service locating:

  • Clamp Induction: the most common electronic service locating method, this involves placing an induction clamp around a conductible pipe or cable. An EMF signal is sent out by a transmitter box and a receiver wand is used to determine the depth and alignment of the utilities that lie within the pipe or cable.
  • Direct Connection: this method works via the same mechanism as clamp induction, only a set of alligator clips are used to create an EMF circuit. The positively charged alligator clip allows the broadcast of a signal down the conductible material while the negatively charged clip Earths the circuit. A receiver wand is also used in direct connection electronic service locating to receive the returned EMF signal and determine the depth and alignment of utility infrastructure.
  • Drop Box Induction: this is the least-used method and is used when there is no direct access to pipes or cables. A transmitter box is placed above the approximate location of a pipe or cable and an EMF signal is beamed underground and reflected off the conductible material back to the receiver wand.


When the location of a pipe or cable needs to be determined before its depth and alignment are evaluated, several techniques can be used to access confined spaces or underground chambers:

  • CCTV cameras: attached to flexible scopes, these can be used to reach behind walls and into pipes. A camera at the end of the scope transmits a video feed to a receiver with a display unit.
  • Concrete X-Rays: X-Ray technology can be used to peer through solid concrete structures in order to determine the location of pipes and cables. A transmitter will broadcast X-Ray waves through a wall until they reach and rebound off a conductive material. A receiver displays an image of the internal structures of the concrete.
  • Non-destructive digging: using a high-pressure stream of water or air to blast away dirt and sediment without damaging underground infrastructure, dirt is removed by non-destructive digging equipment before electronic service locating is performed.

We use high-quality, accurate GPS systems, with a typical accuracy of 10-20mm horizontal and 15-30mm vertical, and have our own web-based GIS portal to ensure accurate record keeping of all information relevant to our services.

What makes our service unique?

Accurate GPS system

Our GPS systems are survey-grade units. We use the best Virtual Reference Station (VRS) networks and are able to set up our own local base stations for rural applications where coverage is limited. Robotic total stations are available for locations where satellite coverage is an issue.

UtilityTrack (UT) - TDG’s web-based GIS portal

UtilityTrack is an asset management tool providing an effective way of tracking, analysing and reporting on scheduled maintenance works, enabling transparency between us. Displayed with a GIS view, UT showcases the asset/pipe network over a choice of base maps including property boundaries and aerial photos.

Get in touch

For a comprehensive quote on any of our services, or general enquiries, please fill out the form below or contact us.

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      What we offer

      TDG Environmental is the most experienced provider of sustainable waste and stormwater management solutions throughout Australia and New Zealand specialising in a comprehensive range of environmental services including:

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