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It's a Jungle out there. Underground Utility Detection & Inspection Services

When Is The Best Time To Contact A Utility Locating Service?


Before you perform subsurface work (i.e., digging, drilling, excavation, saw cutting, boring, etc.) it is the law to call 811 (one call center) to have the public utilities located in the work area, we also suggest calling a private locating service to check for private utilities, unknowns, and double check public marks. Digging into the ground without checking the area for utility lines might cause injuries, harm, or cut off electrical, gas, water, telecommunications, sewer, etc. Private locating services are fundamental for safety, and to prevent service interruptions to the utilities they serve and costly repairs.

Know When It Is The Time To Contact A Utility Locating Service

Knowing when someone should reach out for a professional utility locate service can be a bit challenging, as most of us are not aware of things related to it. So, anyone who wishes to know about a suitable time of availing such service is suggested to read this blog till the end and learn.

For Public Utility Line Locates

Calling 811 for a free public utility locating service from any state is a requirement prior to unearthing any piece of private or public land — whether it’s personal property or not. This will provoke professionals to come to the site and find public utility lines utilizing electromagnetic transmitters and receivers.

For Private Utility Line Locates

Public utilities typically account for 50% of utilities in most work areas and public utility locators will not mark private utilities. That is why it is important to contact a private utility locating company like CNI Locates to locate private utilities, check for unknowns, and double check public utility marks. Private utility locate companies like CNI Locates additionally offer services beyond the standard electromagnetic locates that public utility locate companies provide, such as ground penetrating radar, concrete scanning, traceable rods, video camera pipe inspections, sewer crawlers, leak detection, acoustic detection, fault detection, magnetic detection, utility mapping, aerial drone imagery, etc.

Before Digging

The best time to call a utility locating service is prior to digging or beginning a project that involves subsurface work. As we previously mentioned, it is important to know the specific areas of utility lines to plan for the locations of foundations, posts, utilities, structures, retaining walls, landscaping, etc.

When Utility Lines Exceed The Service Meter

Private utility lines are typically located after the meter (i.e., water meter, power meter, customer pedestal, gas meter, etc.) but in some cases utilities are considered private on private properties or when they branch of the main line (i.e., sewer, drainage, etc.). For instance, electrical, water, telecommunications, gas, sewer, etc. can go from the meter to a house or from the house to an outbuilding on a property. It is fundamental to have these utilities checked for financial and safety reasons prior to subsurface work.

Design Planning & Building Permits

Utility locates are a vital aspect of design planning and building permits. Most design plans and building permits require you to know the previous location of existing utilities in the work area. Knowing the location of utilities also helps when you are planning to add or terminate utilities on site.

We Are Empowering Precision!

At C-N-I Locates, we specialize in delivering top-notch utility locating services. Our team is committed to excellence and employs cutting-edge technology and industry expertise to ensure accurate identification and mapping of underground utilities. Our tailored solutions prioritize safety and efficiency, allowing clients to proceed with construction and excavation projects. At C-N-I, we believe sincerely in our client-driven approach, offering predictable correspondence and opportune outcomes. Come explore the subsurface world with our cutting-edge equipment. Your success is our priority, and at C-N-I Locates, we stand as your trusted partner in utility locates.

C-N-I Locates Ltd Washington State Field Offices and Contact Information

For any inquiries, feel free to reach out to us at (253) 826-1177, drop us an email at [email protected], or conveniently schedule a work request/estimate directly on our website. To provide a seamless experience, we require just 24 hours’ notice, Monday through Friday, to schedule an appointment for the following business day. Your convenience and prompt service are our top priorities.


Everett, Washington Field Office (425)407-9400

Renton, Washington Field Office (425)407-9399

Seattle, Washington Field Office (206)681-0034

Tacoma, Washington Field Office (253)831-6350

Portland, Oregon Field Office (971)312-6745 (for southern Washington services)