Record Searches and Utility Mapping

Record Searches & Utility Mapping


Key fact:

The Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996—Reg 12 (8) requires, where reasonably practicable, the identification of underground cables and services before work starts, and positive action to prevent injury.

Met offers a number of different solutions to provide accurate utility information, from simple record searches to comprehensive utility mapping.


Met Consultancy Group (Met) offer a number of different solutions to fulfil your requirements for accurate utility information. From simple desktop compiling of statutory records to comprehensive utility mapping using the best available electronic survey techniques, we will work closely with you to tailor a survey approach that will deliver the results you need.

A utility mapping exercise often starts out in the office with a desktop assessment to see what statutory utilities are recorded in the survey area. This is carried out by sending enquiries to all of the possible asset owners requesting plans of any existing utilities. This provides information on utilities, and confirmation of which utilities are not present in the survey area.

We will compile all of these responses into a report and then compile a single digital plan of the records, with each utility colour coded within its own layer in a CAD drawing. Reports can also be generated in PDF format for ease of use.

Utility records indicate what might be present, but are often not the whole story. Where possible we will augment the utility records with any private records that might be available. As-built plans of facilities are often useful in showing localised services around buildings, as well as knowledge held by long serving estates and maintenance personnel.

Record data is usually located onto OS mapping. To increase the accuracy of the record drawings the digital plan can be overlain onto a topographical survey, and utility routes aligned with visual features such as manhole covers, inspection pits, stop valves or trench scars.

This can be combined with a walkover survey to verify the identification of inspection covers and gather extra information from items such as marker posts. Doing this can vastly improve the accurate representation of utility routes and for some planning purposes can reduce the need for further electronic utility tracing.

The final stage of a non-intrusive utility mapping exercise is electronic tracing of services. Lifting and recording service covers would be included as part of a non-intrusive survey because it does not involve excavation. Electronic tracing is carried out using radio-frequency location techniques and ground penetrating radar.

A comprehensive mapping exercise using all of these techniques is the most effective non-intrusive way of locating the majority of buried pipes and cables.