Utility Survey

Surrounding utilities have significant impact on the success of the pipe bursting operation, and the design engineer should attempt to identify and locate these existing utilities. However, the exact location of these utilities must be identified during the construction phase through visual locating, such as vacuum potholing. The identification of nearby utilities by design engineer is critical for the following reasons:

  • The presence of nearby utilities may steer the engineer to eliminate pipe bursting as a construction method.
  • The existing utilities may affect the location of insertion and pulling/jacking shafts.
  • Reduce or eliminate the risk of causing significant damage to these utilities.
  • The contractors need to know the number of utilities that they need to expose to account for them in their bid.
  • Consideration for protection of existing utilities from the ground movement of the bursting operation must be made early on to reduce the risk of service interruptions to the customers.
  • Reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities to the workers and nearby people if these utilities are accidentally damaged during bursting.

Site investigation should indicate the locations of many utilities; for example, sewer manholes indicate the presence of a sewer line and fire hydrants indicate the presence of a water line, etc. The engineer should contact the One-Call center for utilities marking, review the available as-built drawings from the different utility owners, and ideally consider geographic information system (GIS) data (if available), utility maps, and conducts surface and subsurface investigations to superimpose these utilities on plans and profiles.