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

Why It Is Important To Still Call A Utility Locator After Returning To A Work Area That’s Been Previously Located.


Utility location plays a crucial role in construction, where safety and accuracy are paramount. One mistake in locating or mislocating an underground utility can have a cascade effect, resulting in numerous expensive and sometimes dangerous outcomes. Not only is the initial utility locate important, but there is a constant need for accuracy and updates as construction teams navigate the underground area. This blog thoroughly explains the critical need for utility locators, even when the area has been previously located.


Any building project’s lifeblood is found below the surface, where a network of utilities coexists. Before excavation starts, utility locators help ensure that the maze-like network of pipes, cables, and conduits beneath the surface are located. This article clarifies why construction teams should have utility locators relocate an area that has been previously marked.

The Initial Utility Locate

Let’s establish the foundation by comprehending the typical need for a utility locate before delving into the necessity of having a utility locator relocate a work area. Before performing subsurface work, it is the law to call for public locates, but in most work areas over 50% of utilities are privately owned. A private locate company will need to mark these utilities because a public locate company will not. Private locate companies like CNI Locates also offer additional services such as ground penetrating radar, concrete scanning, acoustic detection, non-metallic pipe detection, video camera pipe inspections, sewer crawler inspections, magnetic detection, leak detection, fault detection, utility mapping, aerial drone imagery, etc.  This preliminary data serves as the cornerstone around which safe excavation is constructed.

Changes Over Time

The underground world of utilities is constantly changing as we progress into the future. Utilities may be added, decommissioned, removed, repaired, replaced, etc. The reliability of the initial utility locates may be weakened over weeks or months. Thus, it is critical to review and update the data periodically.

Weathering the Elements

With its erratic nature, the weather is a major factor in changing the subsurface environment. Rainfall, temperature swings, and other environmental factors can affect how reliable utility locates are. Rain and snow can wash away utility marks and the sun can fade utility marks. Recognizing the impact of weather is essential since it calls for a proactive recall of utility locators to ensure reliable information even in the face of shifting conditions.

Construction Dynamicss

The subsurface environment changes with the advancement of construction projects. Excavation operations, new utility installation, or adjustments to existing utilities may affect initial locate accuracy. A thorough and current utility placement plan must consider the dynamics of development and changes in the work area during succeeding phases.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Utility location involves more than just pragmatic concerns; legal and regulatory requirements exist. Maintaining a safe workplace requires following rules and regulations and being accountable. Remembering utility locators to comply with regulations, reduce risk, and promote a safety-conscious culture becomes essential.

Unpredictable Changes

Vehicle traffic, pedestrian traffic, construction, landscaping, pressure washing, settling, etc. can eliminate utility marks. Any time that utility marks get eliminated they will need to be relocated to ensure their accuracy. Ignoring the unpredictability of site conditions can result in mistakes that could have detrimental effects. Given the dynamic nature of the underground environment, this section highlights the importance of periodically checking utility locates to ensure utility marks throughout the work area are being maintained.

Risk Mitigation

In construction, risk mitigation is critical. Neglecting to hire a utility locator raises the risk of mishaps, property damage, and project delays. This section emphasizes the possible dangers and outcomes of forgetting to use a utility locator. The purpose of providing current utility information is to emphasize the significance of proactive risk mitigation.

Cost-Effective Solutions

Recalling a utility locator does incur a fee. However, that fee pales compared to the possible consequences of failing to notice updated locates. The long-term cost-effectiveness of guaranteeing accurate utility information is priceless. It examines the financial advantages of proactive utility location tactics, stressing that the initial outlay is small compared to the possible costs linked to erroneous or out-of-date information.

Best Practices in Utility Locating

To tackle the continuous significance of utility locates, this section offers construction teams recommended practices. Regular updates and checks in previously identified work sites are among the recommendations, encouraging a proactive approach to utility locating by industry norms and rules. It investigates how a culture of watchfulness and devotion to best practices can greatly enhance construction project success.

Industry Standards


This section highlights industry best practices and standards for utility location and stresses the significance of adhering to professional norms. Following set guidelines guarantees a consistent and dependable method of identifying utilities, which makes construction safer and more effective. It looks at how working with certified utility locators guarantees a caliber of knowledge that matches industry standards.

Utility Locator Service


Utility locator services are vital during subsurface work, along with their service offerings. These professionals go above and beyond basic locates to deliver state-of-the-art solutions that meet the ever-changing demands of construction projects. From the use of cutting-edge technology to the deployment of specialized services, utility detection and inspection services are crucial for enhancing the accuracy and comprehensiveness of utility information.

Drain Pipe Camera Inspection


After subsurface work is performed, it is important to inspect drains in the work area to make sure no damages occurred during the construction process. This approach contributes to an increase in the overall accuracy of assessments by providing visual insights into the health of drainage infrastructure.

Sewer Camera Inspection Near Me


After subterranean work is performed, we recommend inspecting sewer pipes in the work area with cameras to make sure no damages occurred during the construction process. Sewer camera inspection services are crucial for an efficient and timely utility evaluation. 

Camera Inspections


Additionally, push video cameras can be used to inspect new conduits and duct runs in work areas to make sure they were installed correctly. They can also be used to identify and inspect unknown pipes that were exposed during the excavation process. The visual clarity provided by camera examinations helps construction crews identify and assess subsurface utility conditions more precisely. 

CNI Locates Quality Solutions


With CNI Locates on your side, take on construction projects with assurance. Beyond the essentials, our utility locating services provide a proactive response to the ever-changing subterranean environment. We stress the continuous significance of reliable utility information since we have a thorough awareness of the changing environment. From accurate initial location to going over work areas that have changed over time, our staff makes sure your construction projects go well.

At CNI Locates, risk reduction, compliance, and safety come first. What distinguishes us is our dedication to upholding industry norms and best practices. We provide economical options that fit the budgetary constraints of your project in addition to acknowledging the legal responsibilities related to utility locates. Our utility detection and inspection services include cutting-edge methods that improve the overall quality of utility information and offer visual clarity.

Select CNI Locates if you’re looking for a cooperative alliance that combines state-of-the-art technology, industry knowledge, and a proactive attitude. You may rely on CNI Locates to precisely navigate the underground terrain, ensuring that the success, safety, and accuracy of your construction projects are the cornerstones of their design.



This thorough analysis confirms utility locators continued significance when you are working on previously located areas. Because of the constantly shifting subsurface environment, weather patterns, construction procedures, and regulatory requirements, construction teams are encouraged to carefully evaluate reliable utility information. It becomes clear that using a utility locator is an economical and preventative step. 

When industry standards and best practices are followed, construction projects are ensured to be completed correctly, lowering risks and laying the foundation for successful outcomes. Utility locator services are at the forefront of technological developments and service growth. To ensure that construction projects proceed with the highest level of safety and precision, the underground environment necessitates constant attention to detail and a dedication to employing the best tools and techniques available.

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

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Tacoma, Washington Field Office (253)831-6350

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