The Pros and Cons of Underground Utilities

by admin in Uncategorized

More and more city governments are placing power lines and other utilities beneath the surface. This makes digging blindly in certain areas a very risky – and potentially deadly – endeavor for business owners and the general public. But what is the lure of placing utilities below ground and are there drawbacks to doing this? Here are some pros and cons of placing these utilities beneath the surface. 

The Advantages of Underground Utilities

  • Underground utilities have less visual impact: Underground utilities have less of a visual impact than above the surface utilities since there are no unsightly electrical lines criss crossing streets, angling down to enter buildings, or noisily humming in strong winds. This increases the aesthetic appeal of cities and small towns.
  • Underground utilities are less vulnerable to extreme weather: Above ground utilities are highly vulnerable to storms and high winds. The results are power outages and possibly even electrocution from fallen lines. On the other hand, underground utilities are virtually impervious to extreme weather keeping the risk of weather related blackouts very low. 
  • Reduced transmission loss: Because of the earth’s insulating properties, underground utilities experience reduced transmission loss. On the other hand, above ground utilities can suffer from transmission loss over great distances due to the electricity dissipating from them in the form of heat.
  • Underground utilities create lower field emissions: Many people are concerned with the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and other forms of radiation that may be emitted by above ground power lines, etc. Underground utilities do not emit such levels of EMFs.

The Disadvantages of Underground Utilities

  • Installing underground lines is more expensive than installing overhead units. In fact, the cost can be up to 7-10 times greater. 
  • Buried lines must be protected by conduits, otherwise they are susceptible to shortages from groundwater infiltration
  • Underground utilities lines can take longer to repair because the damaged area must be located and unearthed first. 
  • Underground utilities are a danger to the people and businesses that must excavate in the area around such lines, etc. This is why you need reliable professionals who can detect underground utilities before you begin any major project.

Accu-Scan GPR are the most experienced and dedicated excavation GPR concrete scanning and site preparation specialists in Forest Hills, NY, are the team you need when it comes to locating underground utility lines. Visit our Facebook page to learn more about our concrete scanning services, or call (718) 569-8557 to speak with an expert about your earthwork or excavation needs.  

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