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The Importance of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

"As Built" drawings are a staple in the construction industry, intended to reflect the final details of a construction project, including the locations of subsurface utilities. However, these drawings are not always reliable or accurate, even for brand-new construction projects. This inaccuracy can pose significant risks when drilling or excavating.


Case Study: New Jersey Warehouse Project


EPI Drilling was recently contracted to install monitoring wells at a newly constructed warehouse in New Jersey. To mitigate risks and ensure safe drilling, we recommended that the client employ EPI Geophysics for a thorough subsurface utility locating service. Despite our advice, the client declined, relying instead on the As Built drawings provided by the builder.


Upon our arrival, the client had marked the monitoring well locations and the water (orange) lines based on these drawings. Our experienced driller, suspecting potential inaccuracies, opted to hand-clear the first well location (circled in red) as a precaution. This decision proved prudent. As hand clearing began, it became evident that there might be an unmarked utility in the vicinity, prompting an immediate halt to drilling activities.


EPI Geophysics: Ensuring Safety and Precision


EPI Geophysics promptly arrived on-site to assess the situation. Utilizing ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and line tracing techniques, our team quickly identified the true locations of the water (white) lines. Contrary to the As Built drawings, the actual water (white) lines were found to be significantly different than the As Built water (orange) lines. The client’s marked monitoring well location (circled in red) was alarmingly close to these actual water lines, only inches away.


Preventing Potential Disasters


Thanks to the intuition of our driller and the swift intervention of EPI Geophysics, we avoided a potential disaster. Drilling at the client-marked location could have resulted in a broken water line, leading to substantial repair costs and damage to the client’s reputation.


The Importance of Accurate Utility Locating


While As Built drawings can be a helpful reference, they are no substitute for professional subsurface utility locating services. EPI Geophysics provides accurate, real-time utility locating using advanced GPR and line tracing technologies. This ensures not only the safety of drilling operations but also the integrity of underground utilities.


Conclusion


Relying solely on As Built drawings for subsurface utility information can be risky. For precise and safe utility locating, trust EPI Geophysics. Our expertise and advanced technology safeguard against costly mistakes and ensure successful project outcomes.


Contact EPI Geophysics today to learn how we can support your next project.

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