Pipelines and utilities exist almost everywhere in urban and industrial areas around the world. Gas pipes, electric cables, water, sewage and, telecommunication lines are buried underground under pavements, sidewalks, or natural ground.
In some cases, pipelines are marked by above ground markers (signs, placards or stakes) to provide an indication of their presence, approximate location, and product carried, and the name and contact information. In other cases, there is little or no information about the location of the utilities.
Some types of construction, repair, and maintenance works often involve excavation around existing pipelines and utilities. Careless excavation works may cause damage to underground utilities with a high economic impact and an important risk to workers and machinery. It can disrupt gas, electricity, water, and communication channels. More importantly, accidents related to buried pipes and cables can cause injuries and fatalities.
Ground penetrating radar and EM cable locator are the preferred methods to estimate the location of buried utilities and pipelines.