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Potholing Services

Potholing is a form of trenchless technology used in the utilities and construction industry. It is a process whereby a small hole is drilled into the ground to access underground utility lines or other critical assets. This method is typically used when traditional digging methods are not feasible or would cause too much damage to the surrounding area.

Potholing is a quick and efficient way to access buried utility lines without causing extensive damage to the surrounding environment.

The process of potholing involves creating a small hole in the ground using a vacuum excavator which is a suction machine with a hose attached that can safely suck the ground away from any underground utilities or critical buried assets without risking damage to them.

Following that and depending on the depth, the underground utility or asset can be safely viewed, or a camera can be inserted into the hole to further inspect the location and condition of the utilities or assets below.

Accurate Locating

Dial-Before-You-Dig (DBYD) Certified

Experienced, Local Technicians

Where & How Potholing Services Are Used

Potholing is important as it allows utility companies to detect or access for repair any problems with their lines before they cause significant damage. Potholing is also used to safely identify utilities before digging, as well as enable the installation of new lines or replacement of old ones. Thanks to effective potholing, we can all enjoy safe and reliable utility services.

Potholing is an effective and safe solution for locating underground utilities to Quality Level A in accordance with the AS5488.1 2019 Classification of Subsurface Utility Information. Potholing can be used to locate:

  • Water and sewer lines
  • Storm drains
  • Gas lines
  • Electrical cables
  • Communication cables
  • Any other buried critical asset
vacuum excavation services

Require Potholing Services? Get in Touch with LiveLocates Today!

LiveLocates underground asset locating

Industies Relying on Potholing Services

Potholing is less disruptive than other methods and can be used in a variety of industries, such as:

  • Local Government
  • Utility Providers
  • Building Construction Companies
  • Geotechnical Engineers
  • Directional Drillers & Underground Cable Layers
  • Plumbers and electricians
  • Infrastructure Contractors
  • Excavation & Civil Construction Contractors

LiveLocates has the experience and expertise to provide potholing services for all these industries. We use the latest potholing equipment and techniques, and our team is fully accredited with Dial Before You Dig (DBYD), Telstra and Optus and we are also a member of NULCA. We are committed to safety, so you can rest assured that your project will be completed safely and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about our potholing services.

Why is Potholing Important On A Worksite?

Potholing is an essential part of any construction project to enable further excavation works to safely proceed. It involves excavating a hole in the ground to access underground utilities such as water, gas, communications, and electricity to accurately identify them and their location. Potholing can also be used to locate buried objects or to assess the stability of the ground before starting construction. Potholing is important on the worksite as it is a safe and effective method to expose assets, thereby reducing the chances of damaging the utilities and incurring project delays and significant repair costs.

LiveLocates has extensive experience in potholing services and has worked with companies across Southern NSW, Snowy Mountains, Snowy Valleys, and the ACT. We have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between Potholing and standard excavation?

Potholing is the process of excavating small, round holes in the ground to access buried utilities or other underground features. Traditional excavation, using larger mechanical equipment or hand shovels, is a hazard to underground utilities that haven’t been accurately located and carefully exposed through vacuum excavation pot holing.

The main difference between potholing and standard excavation is the size and shape of the holes that are dug. Potholing typically involves excavating small, round holes that are 90mm in diameter or a series of them to create a larger hole. Standard excavation, however does not have the capability to excavate such small areas of the ground to the depths that potholing can achieve.  Therefore, the disruption to the ground and environmental impacts are far more significant through standard excavation than through using potholing techniques.

The equipment used to create potholes is significantly different to the equipment used for standard excavation practices. Potholing services typically incorporate the use of an industrial vacuum as well as a hydraulic high-pressure water hose when required to precisely excavate holes in the ground. This equipment is commonly known as a vacuum excavator and the technique vacuum excavation. Standard excavators, on the other hand, usually use heavy mechanical machinery such as bulldozers and backhoes to do the work.

So, what’s the difference between potholing and standard excavation? In summary, it all comes down to the size and shape of the holes that are dug, as well as the equipment that is used. Potholing is typically used for smaller projects where only a few holes need to be dug, and there needs to be a concerted effort to accurately locate, access and protect the integrity of any underground utilities or critical assets. Standard excavation, on the other hand, is usually used for larger projects where more extensive earthmoving and construction is required.


How much do potholing services cost?

Potholing is a great way to get an accurate picture of what lies beneath the surface before starting any excavation work. It can save you time and money by avoiding potential problems and hazards, and it’s always best to be prepared before beginning any construction project.

The cost of potholing services will vary depending on the size and scope of your project but you can be confident that LiveLocates will provide you with a competitive quote and service. We have years of experience in the potholing industry, and our team of experts are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.

So, if you’re planning any excavation work and require potholing services, make sure you give us a call on 1300 517 062 or via an online enquiry through the Contact Us page. We’re also available for utility locating and utility mapping services across NSW and the ACT.


Where do LiveLocates potholing services extend to?

Our potholing equipment is fully transportable and able to access most sites and terrain.  Our service range extends across Southern NSW, Snowy Mountains, Snowy Valleys and the ACT. If you’re in need of potholing services in the following areas, phone LiveLocates today:

Snowy Valley – Tumut, Talbingo, Khancoban, Adaminaby, Tumbarumb

Snowy Monaro – Berridale, Cooma, Bombala, Bredbo, Dalgety, Delegate, Michelago

Snowy Mountains – Jindabyne, Thredbo, Perisher, Crackenback, Cabramurra

NSW South Coast – Nowra, Huskisson, Batemans Bay, Moruya, Narooma, Bermagui, Bega, Tathra, Merimbula, Eden

Canberra suburbs and surrounding regions


Who can provide Potholing services?

There are only a handful of companies that can safely and accurately carry out potholing services in Australia. This is because the process of digging holes to access underground utility lines is considered a high-risk activity and may encroach within the utility’s safe excavation distance.

As such, only those companies that have the experience and expertise to carry out potholing safely should do so. If you’re considering using a potholing service, make sure you check that the company you’re using is accredited by the relevant authorities.

All LiveLocates technicians are Dial Before You Dig (DBYD), Telstra and Optus Accredited. LiveLocates is also proudly a member of NULCA (National Utility Locating Contractors Association). We provide utility locating, non-destructive digging, and GPS site surveying services.

Please note that not all utility owners supply plans for their utilities through the Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) service. LiveLocates can source additional utility plans when these are not provided to ensure that all utilities within your excavation area are appropriately potholed and reported to you prior to further excavation activities on site.