Current Location: VIC

Service Locator

The industry leader in underground utility locating and service locating in Melbourne

Whilst you might have access to your site plans and site inspections may have been done on your Melbourne or greater Victoria project, you have got only half of the picture if you haven’t ordered an underground utility location report yet.

As professional service locators, Provac knows that many utility services are opting to place their utility services underground.

Because of this, avoiding utility services has become quite a minefield for the construction industry, plumbers, electricians and even domestic homeowners when planning their projects.

Why do you need an underground utility location service for your Melbourne or Victorian site?

Before undertaking any construction work or digging, knowing what exactly is beneath you is imperative. Here’s why.

Without an underground cable locator, the likelihood of hitting the myriad of lines and connections present underground is pretty high.

With the stringent safety laws in Melbourne, Victoria and Australia-wide, it would be a breach of your duty of care to let any workers dig or excavate blindly. Should they hit a gas line or a power cable, it can be a health and safety risk, one which can even lead to fatalities in some cases.

You have a duty of care not to hit utility services, and as such, failure to perform the necessary underground utility location services before performing work can lead to hefty repair fees.

Not only would you be liable for the cost of fixing any damaged cables, you need to consider the negative consequences to your brand and/or image and the inconvenience caused to the public whilst these services are restored.

Repairs to underground services can take considerable time, so you also need to factor in the down-time to your project and the costs associated with idle machinery and staff.

What can an underground utility locator find?

Provac’s fully comprehensive underground cable locator and utility locator service is imperative before you start any excavation work in Melbourne, greater Victoria, or Australia-wide. We help identify the location of;

  • Gas pipes
  • Telecommunication cables
  • Electrical cables
  • Water pipes
  • Sewer pipes
  • Stormwater pipes
  • Fibre optic cables

Underground services serve an important purpose

Everyone has a duty of care when it comes to underground networks, whether it’s a high-rise construction or a simple washing line being installed in a domestic dwelling, it’s important to know what your responsibilities are and why.

Why choose Provac for your utility locating services

Our technical team are all Before You Dig Australia certified, and are at the forefront of advances in the field of locating technology and best practices, so you get the very best manpower backed up by modern technology.

Call Provac today to ensure your project doesn’t hit a road block

For a full visual insight so you know the lay of the land, both above and below, call Provac now on 1300 734 772 or fill out our contact form, to discuss an underground utility location service.

Provac, experienced service locators, servicing Melbourne and Victoria wide.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are underground service locators?

Underground service locators are tools used to locate and map underground utilities such as power, gas, water, and telecommunications lines. They help prevent damage during construction or excavation. Methods include electromagnetic detection, ground penetrating radar, acoustic location, and vacuum excavation. They are used by many industries and homeowners to locate utilities before landscaping or construction.

How are underground services identified or marked on site?

Once underground services have been located using underground service locators, they are identified or marked on-site using a variety of methods. The specific method used may vary depending on the type of utility and local regulations, but some common methods include:

Flags: Small coloured flags are commonly used to mark the location of underground utilities. Each colour corresponds to a specific type of utility, such as blue for water lines or yellow for gas lines.

Paint: Utility lines can be marked with paint, often using a colour code similar to that used for flags.

Stakes: Wooden stakes can be used to mark the location of underground utilities, with the type of utility and other information written on the stake.

Tape: Non-adhesive plastic or metal tape can be placed over utility lines to indicate their location.

Regardless of the method used, the markings will usually include information such as the type of utility, the depth of the line, and the name of the utility company or other organization responsible for the line. This information is important for ensuring that excavations and other activities are conducted safely and do not damage the utilities. It is also important to follow local regulations and guidelines when marking and identifying underground utilities.

Who uses underground service locators?

Underground service locators are used by a variety of professionals and industries, including:

Construction companies and contractors: They use underground service locators to identify the location of utilities before starting construction work to prevent damage to the utilities.

Utility companies: They use underground service locators to locate and map the location of their underground infrastructure to maintain and repair their systems.

Engineers and surveyors: They use underground service locators to gather information about the location of utilities before designing new infrastructure or building projects.

Municipalities and local government agencies: They use underground service locators to ensure compliance with regulations and maintain public safety.

Homeowners and property managers: They use underground service locators to locate utilities before starting landscaping or other home improvement projects.

In summary, anyone involved in construction, infrastructure maintenance, or property management may use underground service locators to locate and map the location of underground utilities.


What type of equipment can determine the location of underground services?

There are several types of equipment that can be used to determine the location of underground services. Some common methods and tools include:

  1. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
  2. Electromagnetic Locators (EM Locators)
  3. Pipe and Cable Locators
  4. Magnetic Locators
  5. Acoustic Leak Detectors
  6. Ground Probing Radar (GPR)
  7. Vacuum Excavation

It's important to note that the effectiveness of these methods may vary depending on factors such as soil conditions, the depth of the utilities, and the materials used in the underground services. It's always recommended to consult with professionals experienced in utility locating and to follow safety guidelines when working near buried services.

What defines underground services?

Underground services, also known as underground utilities or subsurface infrastructure, refer to various systems and infrastructure components that are buried beneath the ground. These services are crucial for providing essential utilities and services to communities. Some common types of underground services include:

  1.  Water Supply: Underground water pipes deliver fresh water to homes, buildings, and public water systems.
  2. Sewerage and Wastewater: Underground sewer pipes and drainage systems transport wastewater and sewage from buildings to treatment plants or disposal sites.
  3. Electricity: Underground power cables distribute electrical energy from power plants to homes, businesses, and public facilities.
  4. Telecommunications: Underground communication cables, such as fibre optic lines, transmit data, voice, and internet services.
  5. Gas Distribution: Underground gas pipelines transport natural gas or propane to residential, commercial, and industrial areas for heating, cooking, and other uses.
  6. Heating and Cooling Systems: Underground district heating and cooling systems use pipes to distribute hot or cold water to buildings for climate control.
  7. Cable Television: Underground cables provide television services to homes and businesses.
  8. Stormwater Drainage: Underground stormwater systems collect and divert rainwater to prevent flooding and protect infrastructure.
  9. Fibre Optic Networks: Buried fibre optic cables create high-speed data transmission networks for internet and telecommunications services.

These underground services are typically installed beneath roads, sidewalks, parks, and private properties. Accurate location and identification of these utilities are essential to prevent damage during construction, excavation, or maintenance activities.

What are the advantages of underground services?

Advantages of underground services:

  1. Aesthetics: Underground services eliminate the need for overhead wires and poles, improving the visual appearance of the environment.
  2.  Safety: Underground installations reduce the risk of accidents, such as electrocution or collisions with above-ground infrastructure.
  3. Weather Protection: Underground services are less susceptible to damage from weather conditions like storms or high winds.
  4. Reduced Maintenance: Underground utilities generally require less maintenance compared to above-ground systems.
  5. Reliability: Underground services offer increased reliability during extreme weather events and are less prone to disruptions.
  6. Environmental Benefits: Underground infrastructure minimises visual pollution and helps maintain a cleaner and greener environment.
  7. Increased Property Value: Properties with underground services often have a higher value due to the absence of visible infrastructure.
  8. Future-Proofing: Underground systems allow for easier expansion and adaptability to future technological advancements.

It's important to consider that installing and maintaining underground services can be more costly and complex compared to above-ground alternatives. Accurate mapping and documentation are crucial for proper management and avoiding accidental damage.

How accurate are underground service locators?

The accuracy of underground service locators can vary depending on several factors, including the type of equipment used, the depth of the utility, and the soil conditions. In general, modern locators can provide accurate results within a few centimetres. However, certain factors, such as the presence of metallic objects or electromagnetic interference, can affect the accuracy of the readings. It's essential to use experienced operators and calibrate the equipment properly to ensure accurate results.

How long does it take to perform underground utility locating services?

The time it takes to perform underground utility locating services can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the area, the complexity of the utility network, and the equipment used. For a typical residential or commercial project, the process can often be completed within a few hours to a day. Larger or more complex projects may take longer. It's essential to schedule utility locating services in advance to ensure that they can be completed in a timely manner and to avoid delays in construction or excavation projects.

What safety measures should be taken when using underground service locators?

When using underground service locators, it's crucial to follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents and injuries. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety goggles, gloves, and steel-toed boots. Ensure that the equipment is properly maintained and calibrated for accurate readings. Follow safe digging practices by using hand tools to carefully expose underground utilities. Be aware of surrounding hazards like overhead power lines or unstable ground. Communicate clearly with team members about the location of underground utilities and any safety precautions. Monitor for signs of utility damage, and stop work immediately if damage is suspected. Follow all local regulations and guidelines for underground utility locating and excavation to ensure a safe work environment.

Victoria Division

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