The use and application of GPR is not widely known to the businesses and governmental entities that have a need for it
Melbourne, FL (PRWEB) August 6, 2008
New company GeoTek Services has recently formed in Florida to provide concrete scanning and utility locating services. Founder Bud Connor created the business this year to meet a growing demand for ground-penetrating radar and electromagnetic induction applications from contractors, renovators, municipalities, environmental companies, and archeologists.
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) uses high-frequency radio waves to create images of objects below a solid surface. Construction workers can use the technology to "see" buried gas lines, water mains, and telecom networks before they excavate the ground or cut into concrete.
This method of peering underground and into concrete isn't used as widely as it could be. "A lot of people don't know that GPR exists" says Connor. "Some of the contractors I talk to are surprised that we have the ability to look inside solid objects. They're used to finding pipes with a backhoe, which isn't so good for the pipes or the project, not to mention the people around them."
According to Connor, GPR can prevent construction accidents. "In the past five months, there have been more than 30 gas-line breaks in Florida alone, and those are just the ones I know about. Emergency teams have had to put out fires and evacuate neighborhoods and businesses, even schools." Many of the accidents could have been prevented if the area had been radar-scanned before excavation began.
Cutting into a concrete slab can compromise the integrity of a building's foundation and cost contractors money in repairs and construction delays. If crews hit structural supports such as rebar or post-tensioning cables, the damage has to be repaired before the slab can support its intended load. GPR scans can locate the steel inside the slab before workers begin to cut or drill.
Underground communication systems are also vulnerable. Accidents can mean lost sales for businesses and even more serious consequences: A crew installing traffic lights in Lakeland, Fl, cut a telephone line in February, leaving about 400 homes without phone service, including the ability to make 911 calls, and a Plant City hospital was forced to go without phone service for several hours in March, after workers accidently cut a fiber-optics line.
Patrick Montgomery, president of telecommunication provider Utility Design, Inc., would like to see GPR scans required by law, before sensitive areas are excavated. "The use and application of GPR is not widely known to the businesses and governmental entities that have a need for it," Montgomery says. Preconstruction GPR utility locating could help crews avoid communication lines, preventing interruptions to business and emergency services.
Utility lines and communication cables are typically designated by flags or paint, but often the markers aren't accurate enough to prevent accidents. The signs may be moved or obliterated, and maps may show only an approximate location for the pipes. "Markers and maps give contractors an approximate location," says Connor, "but GPR tells them exactly where and how deep the lines are. GeoTek is a fast-response company: we can get to a site quickly, tell workers where the line is, and let them get on with their job."
For additional information on ground-penetrating radar, contact Bud Connor or visit http://www.geotekservices.com.
About GeoTek Services:
GeoTek specializes in ground-penetrating radar and electromagnetic induction services for subsurface investigations. GeoTek offers scanning, inspection, locating, and consulting services to contractors, renovators, municipalities, environmental companies and archaeologists.
GeoTek Services, LLC