Safety Focus of the Week: Using our Underground Utility Locators
ECI recently purchased two VLOC-Pro electronic utility locators (http://www.vivax-metrotech.com/productshow.asp?id=16) to supplement our three older units. The VLOC-Pros are assigned to both the drilling division and to the safety department. These purchases are intended to improve the capabilities of our field crews to locate underground utilities rather than call in Warren Severance, our part-time utility locator. Digsafe should still be called in all cases. These locators, and Warren, are to be used as resources for verifying Digsafe markings, refining the Digsafe markings, locating private or non-Digsafe utilities, and locating our completed work.
The equipment works by detecting an alternating current in a conductive wire or pipe. The devices have smart features that enhance the accuracy and interpretation of the signal. Given the right parameters, the devices will provide location, depth, type of utility (E vs CATV), and even voltage. In the case of metallic jointed pipelines with gaskets (like ductile iron waterlines), the device transmitter can still be used to induce a strong enough signal to pass through at least some of the joints.
If you need more specific information, check with Matt Orszulak, Stu King, or Tod Cote.