Professional surveyors are vital to the industries that lay pipeline for gas, oil and other applications. Surveyors do so much more than show up at a tract of land and take measurements. They help plan pipeline routes, work with landowners to ensure their satisfaction and pinpoint the location of pipeline connections so future repairs are faster and easier.
Here are some details about the role of surveyors in an as-built pipeline project:
The surveying company does extensive land research.
Many pipeline projects cover vast stretches of property, with some meandering through several states from start point to end point. There may be hundreds of tracts to research, and surveyors must determine the rightful owners for each and every one.
They search county deed books, tax records and other references to locate the surface owner. They study topographical maps to understand the physical features of the land where the pipe will be laid. They locate existing pipelines and other utilities that are buried in the same location.
Once they map out the preliminary route of the pipe, they check with the client to be sure it's correct. If so, they create detailed plats, maps and other data that precisely follow the prospective path of the line.
Surveyors communicate with client and landowner.
Many surveying companies have websites where clients can access the progress of their projects. These websites may include maps, drawings, spreadsheets and other data about the survey that clients may print off for use in the field or office.
They work with the client to ensure that work is progressing as planned and to make any necessary changes before the pipe goes in the ground.
Surveyors also communicate with landowners along the proposed route. While some property owners aren't picky and don't care where pipe will be set, others may have locations or features on their property that they wish to be protected. Surveyors talk about these issues with the landowners and show respect for their concerns.
Surveyors help ensure the safety of the pipeline.
As the pipes are joined together and welded, each joint's location is pinpointed by the surveyor. Their surveying instruments offer accurate mapping of welds to within several millimeters. If welds fail in the future, crews can dig in the exact location of the problem, making repairs far more rapid than if they had to dig out a longer stretch of line to find the failure.
The data on the pipelines is made available to the client after completion of the job. They will be provided with accurate maps and drawings of the pipeline route as well as specific data on each pipe joint, such as the GPS locations of the weld, the type of weld, the welder's name and the type of pipe.
This invaluable information helps oil and gas companies maintain the safety of the entire pipeline. Talk to places like Great Lakes Engineering for more information.
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