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Underground Service Locating

What you need to know about service locating


You can find information about the importance of underground service locating and being a service locator here

What service locating does

Underground Service Locating accurately identifies the location of services and assist in avoiding these hazards when excavating.


Who can locate services

Service locating should only ever be carried out by certified locators using the appropriate modern, high tech equipment required.

Need utilities located now?

Should you use a service locator before you start?


Remember these 5 things

  1. Safety should always come first

  2. It is your responsibility to ensure you identify all hazards

  3. Locating services is cheaper than repairing damaged services

  4. Locating services is quicker than repairing damaged services

  5. Identifying services makes working around them quicker, easier and allows time for potholing 

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Don't Risk It!

Damage to underground services is still far too common.

Reasons people don't engage in certified locators can be 

Becoming too complacent

Being too impatient

Trying to save money


Not one of these risks is a good enough reason for not putting safety first.

Why underground service locating is so important

First and most important is safety.

When it comes to safety its everyone's responsibility and you should never cut corners. Underground utilities can be extremely dangerous to any person working in an area where they are located.

Second is money.

Any person excavating near these hidden utilities has a duty of care. Damaging these valuable assets can be extremely costly.

Next is time.

Incidents could result in large delays and down time on projects while the utilities are being repaired. If time is taken to check the location of the underground utilities on your work site, your project can continue into the next stage without costing you valuable time and also money before you really get started.

About Locating
The process of underground service locating

Locating underground services is complicated and, as mentioned previously, is a very risky activity if done incorrectly. For this reason only a certified locator should ever be used, further more, it is a requirement to use a locator that is certified to locate particular services and in particular areas that the services are located. The best way to ensure a locator is certified is to check the DBYD website. The very first step in underground service locating is to be a certified locator and ensure skills are kept up to date. Follow this link to see our certified locator Allan Clarke listed on the DBYD website.


Allan only uses equipment that the DBYD certifiers allow locators to use made by a trusted and reliable brand of locators, Radio Detection to carry out Electromagnetic Locating. This kind of locating is known by many other names too, such as service locating, utility detection, cable locating, conductive locating, digital locating, underground cable and pipe locating plus many more. Electromagnetic locating, underground service locating, is used to find many different services that are located underground if it is conductive.



DBYD should always be your first step if you are planning on carrying out any excavation whether it be using machinery or just digging by hand, crowbars and shovels can still damage services and are a hazard to workers. These plans are helpful to locate underground service but should only ever be used as a guide. Why you can not be 100% sure the plan you are using is correct:

  1. Not all services are where they should be or where the utility owner has marked them on a plan. 

  2. Not all services will be are the correct depth. 

  3. Not all plans showing underground services are up to date.

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