Current Location: VIC

Ground Penetrating Radar

GPR services in Melbourne and wider Victoria give you the full picture

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is quite simply the geophysical technique of sub-surface imaging and surveying.

If you require GPR scanning services to be performed anywhere in Melbourne or greater Victoria before you begin any excavation work, Provac are at the helm to provide you with timely and accurate reports.

GPR gives you a deeper understanding

When you have construction plans, it’s important to get a thorough understanding of what is going on beneath the surface. You have a duty of care to ensure that any excavation work or activities undertaken do not affect the underground networks or utility services.

How does GPR work?

Ground Penetrating Radar is a sophisticated and non-destructive method of sending tiny impulses into the ground and recording their strength and the time taken for the signal to return. GPR technology has a high penetration depth, and can locate both metallic and non-metallic underground utilities.

When you might use GPR contractors in Melbourne or greater Victoria

GPR systems are a great way to locate buried underground assets such as water pipes. Water pipes can pose a significant issue if damaged. The water pressure in a water pipe is high, so imagine if you were to commence excavation work without knowledge of a water pipe below.

If the water pipe was compromised and broken, it could result in water escaping in a high-pressure situation, taking with it dirt and surrounding debris. Not only would this pose a significant threat to the workers and those in the vicinity, it can also create a whole host of other issues.

A burst water pipe can release pressure that might disturb other underground utilities, and thus a costly repair bill will be coming your way.

GPR can also assist with the location of power cables

Ground penetrating radar technology can also identify underground power cables. Power outages can cause much inconvenience to those affected, so it is important to identify the location of any underground power cables before undertaking any excavation or digging work.

GPR gives you the bigger picture

For a non-destructive, accurate and efficient way to get a deeper picture of the underground environment and what subsurface objects are present, we recommend that you call Provac for our ground penetrating radar services. Our team of underground service locating technicians cover all areas throughout Melbourne and greater Victoria with our state-of-the-art location technology. 

All our technicians are Before You Dig certified, so you are in good hands. To get in touch with the Provac team, be sure to contact us.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do electronic locations work?

There are a number of different methods we use to locate underground services. The best and most common way to locate an underground asset is by using electromagnetic methods. This is done by using a transmitter and receiver. The transmitter is used to emit a signal through the pipe and cable which is then picked up using the receiver. Other methods we utilise include GPR (Ground penetrating radars) primarily used to locate non conductive pipes such as PVC water mains and poly pressure sewer rising mains. At Provac Australia we use the most advanced, state of the art electronic detection equipment. We accurately locate, mark and utility map all electronic locations on every job.

Do I need electronic locations before I begin excavations?

Yes. It is your legal obligation to use a Before You Dig Australia accredited Locator to locate all underground services before you commence any excavations. If you excavate without first consulting a DBYD accredited locator and an asset is damaged, you will be held liable for the damages and all costs associated with that damage.

Can you locate my house connections?

Yes. We often locate all underground service house connections for our clients. This is often required by home owners and property developers when looking to demolish or renovate external structures.

Can you locate optic fibre cables?

Yes. Although Optic Fibre cables are not traceable using electromagnetic methods, we have other tried and trusted methods for locating optic fibre cables. The most common way to locate optic fibre cables is by using a traceable copper reel which we can push up the pipe/conduit that the optic fibre is lay in. The copper reel is then traced using the electronic detection equipment and is accurately located like any other underground service.

How accurate are electronic locations?

Electronic Locations are extremely accurate in most cases but are still only classified as ‘Class B’ locations in the Classification of Subsurface Utility ‘AS 5488’ guidelines. Electronic Locations must be safely potholed via hand excavation or with a Vac truck so that a visible confirmation of the underground asset can attain a ‘Class A’ location in accordance with the Classification of Subsurface Utility ‘AS 5488’ guidelines.

How deep can electronic locators detect a pipe or cable?

Our state of the art Radio Detection equipment has been capable of accurately locating underground services up to 10m deep below the earth’s surface.

What can Ground Penetrating Radar show?

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a non-invasive technology that detects buried utilities like gas, electrical, water, and telecom lines, as well as other subsurface features, using radar waves. GPR emits electromagnetic energy into the ground, which bounces back and is detected, providing information on the depth and composition of subsurface features. It helps reduce damage risk in construction and engineering projects by locating underground utilities before excavation.

How accurate is Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)?

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is an effective and efficient technology used to survey subsurface features and structures. Its accuracy is largely dependent on the quality of equipment, operator skill, and subsurface conditions. GPR offers high-resolution imaging with a depth resolution that can range from centimetres to meters, providing valuable insights into the subsurface. Despite some limitations, such as interference from metal objects or other sources, GPR is a reliable and valuable tool for subsurface imaging and often provides accurate results.


Can GPR work under any surface?

The moisture level on the surface being scanned greatly impacts the accuracy of the scan. Excessive moisture enhances conductivity, causing the equipment's signal to bounce back and resulting in subpar readings.

Performing a concrete scan becomes particularly challenging on newly poured concrete that is less than three months old due to its higher moisture content. Other surfaces that pose difficulties for scanning include those with heavy insulation, as well as marble and granite.

Is it safe to use a Ground Penetration Radar?

Yes, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is generally safe to use. It emits low-power electromagnetic waves and doesn't involve ionising radiation like X-rays. However, users should be cautious of electromagnetic interference, follow guidelines on safe distances, consider environmental impacts, and adhere to any local regulations. Proper training and awareness of potential risks are important for a safe GPR operation.

Can a Ground Penetration Radar be used in water, snow, or ice?

Yes, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can be used in water, snow, and ice. It helps measure sediment layers underwater, snowpack properties, and ice thickness. However, effectiveness varies due to factors like conductivity and equipment adjustments needed for each medium.

Can Ground Penetrating Radar identify underground utilities?

Yes, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can identify underground utilities like pipes, cables, and conduits by analysing radar reflections. It's widely used in construction to prevent accidental damage during excavation and to map utility locations.

Victoria Division

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