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Utility Markout

Protect yourself, your clients, the public and the environment with underwater utility markout surveys prior to penetrating the river, harbor or ocean bottom to collect cores. Landside we all accept the wisdom of having a utility markout crew flag a worksite prior to penetrating the ground with any industrial strength equipment. The risks of not doing so can be costly (injury, lawsuits, OSHA fines, clean-up costs, increased insurance premiums, worker’s compensation claims and work days lost). All of these risks exist every time a field sampling crew penetrates the bed of a water body. Many of these risks are magnified when working underwater (e.g., cleanup costs).

Buried Underwater Utilities Can Be Located

The use of markout services to protect utilities buried on land can never eliminate the possibility of a utility being damaged.  However a properly executed markout can greatly reduce the probability of equipment making contact with or damaging a utility.  Urban waterways are riddled with submerged and buried utilities.  Available markout services rarely flag utilities past the banks of a waterway.  “As built” plans for the most part do not exist for the older submerged utility runs in the U.S.  Complicating things further and adding an unacceptable level of uncertainty, pipeline routes have been known to shift from their original placement due to heavy storm surges and other natural forces.

Engineers and project managers should take full advantage of Aqua Survey’s on-water markout services prior to penetrating an estuary bed, riverbed, lakebed or pond bottom. 

Typical tools for on-water markout may include:
Electromagnetic time domain detection systems (towed benthic sled, diver maneuvered system, float system and Smart-core vibracoring system).
Sub-bottom sonar survey
Magnetometer and gradiometer survey
Side scan sonar survey

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“Can you hear me now?”

The cost of damaging a utility isn’t always a risk to humans or the environment.  Lost revenues from a damaged fiber optic cable can be staggering.  Sediment vibracoring systems and drills are all capable of damaging unplotted utilities. Call us to discuss your project’s on-water markout needs.

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