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It has been well established that GPR can detect many types of non-metallic utilities including pipes, cables, conduit, and duct banks in soils favourable to the GPR method. GPR in many cases is the only practical non-destructive method available to locate non-metallic or non-conductive utilities such as cast iron, PVC or other plastic pipes, concrete, and various composite pipelines. In some cases GPR is a stand-alone method that can solve a particular locate problem. However, as with standard electromagnetic or radio frequency line locating technology, GPR is not a panacea and is best used in conjunction with these other devices.


A general idea of the location of a utility or having accessed enabling connection to a utility is normally required for a successful location with an electro-locator. Using GPR provides the ability to scan large areas and detect many unknown utilities at one time without prior knowledge of their locations or directly connecting to them. Once a potential utility has been detected with the GPR an effective way to integrate a cable locator is to place the transmitter on the ground over the target to see if a signal can be induced. This allows confirmation that the target is a conductor and it may also be traced to areas not accessible or through soils that are not favourable to GPR.

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