GPRS Locates Underground Utilities For Downtown Facelift

The Henry B Gonzales convention center in San Antonio is undergoing multiple facility renovations. The contractor’s main concern was to protect the existing infrastructure during excavation. French drains are perforated PVC pipes the typically installed on top of the clay layer of soil underground to insure the proper movement of groundwater, thus preventing standing water and over watering to occur. Trough drains are a linear floor drain typically used in preventing standing water on smooth surfaces where water is prevalent. The contractors were told to be cautious when digging due to all the utilities in the trenching areas.

GPRS was able to respond within 24 hours to identify private underground utilities in the area of construction. We utilized our time on site efficiently by ensuring the client’s needs were met and exceeded by first taking time with the facility managers, engineers and contractors to understanding the specific areas where the drains were to be installed. Gaining access to the known utility structures in the surrounding areas as well as viewing accessible as-built drawings to ensure all known utility structures were identified. We took notice of obstructions and possible complications on site and brought them to the client’s attention.

The area needing a utility inspection was in a large outdoor courtyard in between the Riverwalk and amphitheater and also in the middle of the courtyard. We were able to locate multiple water and electric lines feeding this large pond and its pumps. We were able to safely access the ground wire and directly connect our Radio Detection pipe locator to each individual line going into each conduit. We then performed a 360 degree sweep with the Radio Detection Receiver, the equipment that measures the electromagnetic signal when properly connected to a conductive line, to identify the possible location of that specific wire, marking the location in its proper nationally known color for electronic, red. We repeated the process until each individual accessible electric wire for each light, panel, junction box and pump electronic supply line was identified with a proper mark. We then attempted to connect to the visible water lines for the pond and the Radio Detection Receiver was unable to retrieve a signal during the 360 degree sweep, this would have been due to the water line being PVC. GPRS deploys another technology if this happens, our project managers have a technology capable of scanning for consistent anomalies(abnormalities to the native soil/concrete). The technology is Ground Penetrating Radar, the 400 MHz antenna GPR used in this situation is for the purpose of locating non-conductive water lines and other unknown utilities that many be in the area. We were able to perform a tight grid pattern throughout the area needing utilities identified. The GPR underground scan was able to penetrate approx. 4 ‘ into the native soil of the courtyard revealing multiple underground anomalies.

GPRS was able to provide a visual representation of the underground infrastructure pertaining towards utilities in the key areas requested by using bright high-visibility paint to ensure the contractors are able to visibly identify utilities in or around the dig area. The client’s main goal of the project is to prevent excessive water build up for the area to ensure this high foot traffic area is safe, accessible and friendly. By having an active water line being damaged, the damage would result in a potentially large flood and would be against the main goal of the client. The site also contained many electrical lines running typically shallow through the areas of construction. GPRS continues to save its clients time and money by protecting and preserving underground infrastructure.

Our Mission is to provide solutions to the critical problems our customers face regarding the location of hidden elements in concrete and underground.

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