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GPR Utility Survey Locates PVC
Propane Lines in New Lisbon, WI

A subdivision located in New Lisbon, WI was preparing to install new natural gas piping to replace an outdated liquid propane fuel system. Unfortunately, the tracer wires on the old LP pipes had completely deteriorated and left the pipes untraceable, and the drawings supplied by the propane company were incomplete or incorrect. Alliant Energy requested a GPR utility survey of the subdivision to locate the PVC propane lines before they dug trenches to install their natural gas piping.

Ground Penetrating Radar Systems performed the requested utility locating services along several miles of road throughout the subdivision. The PVC pipe was located at numerous places along the roads, and these locations were immediately confirmed by hand digging to expose the utility. Although this plastic pipe had no tracer wire, the use of ground penetrating radar allowed the utilities to be marked accurately, and the project was able to proceed without unnecessary risk of damaging an underground utility.

Nathan Machel is regional director for GPRS operations throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and eastern Missouri. He is based in Chicago, IL and he can be reached by phone at 847-514-2277 or 414-795-6485, or by email at

Locating Liquid Propane Pipe

The orange pipe is a 2” PVC liquid propane pipe. The LP piping in this area was 3-4’ deep. After the pipe was located at each key spot, it was uncovered by hand digging to confirm that the pipe had been found correctly.

Uncovered PVC Pipe

The PVC pipe uncovered at another location. The pipe was found using a Ground Penetrating Radar unit with a 400 MHz antenna. In addition to utility locating, this antenna can also be used for applications such as UST locating and void detection.

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