Underground Utilities Provide Essential Services to Buildings


Public service infrastructure like cables for electricity distribution, traffic, and street lights, water pipes, sewerage mains, gas, telecommunication, broadband internet, and cable television are often installed beneath the ground. These are maintained by utility companies that provide such services.

These underground utilities are installed under the ground for purposes of function, aesthetics or convenience. Most of these are mapped as they require to seek approval from local authorities that have rights over the land through which they run. While earlier methods of installation required the digging of trenches which led to great risks for construction workers, present-day installers use the trenchless method of installation, a technique that leads to safer working, with lesser disruption than that which is caused by trenches.

During this type of construction of underground utilities, it is essential that the location of any existing utilities is known, so that they can be avoided. While this information can be obtained from maps made by previous installers, these are often not strictly adhered to and any new installation can, therefore, cause a number of problems. The guesswork can be avoided by using techniques like ground penetrating radar to accurately map the existing utilities before commencing any new work.

Private homes will only have a handful of utilities that are installed underground. This will be cables bringing in power to the mains, cables used to light driveway, compound, and gates, gas and water piping, wastewater systems, sprinkler systems, and others. Larger residential complexes may require larger networks of these same utilities to serve every building and any other ancillary structures. For commercial buildings, these utilities also need to be installed in a planned way, though now each utility will have a main and a lot of subsidiaries. Fire fighting systems can then become an important part of the required utilities that need to be installed.

You will require similar installation of utilities underground in private campuses of colleges or universities and large businesses or industries with large areas. In all cases, starting from private homes to large residential, commercial, industrial and educational complexes, the public utility will provide their connections up to the edge of the property, and all internal networks of utilities, become the work of the owner of these properties. This work must be carried out after proper planning to see that every utility is clearly marked out and has its own route. Proper mapping of these utilities can help in the future when there are any maintenance problems or any need to expand them.

Installation of underground utilities requires that each of them have central and intermediate control points in the form of manholes, access ducts, and other ways that can help in the isolation of areas to assist in maintenance and repair. This is especially important in large areas where there is a large network of utilities installed underground.

Utilities that are buried need to be given some protection after installation that can help in avoiding any damage to them when their location is excavated in the future. This can be in the form of pipes, tiles, or other indicators that will warn workers of their presence during any maintenance work.

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