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The significance of using detectable warning tapes in underground development

Warning tapes have proven to be an excellent resource for pinpointing precise locations and avoiding damage to expensive underground installations. When properly installed, these warning tapes reduce damage, system failure, and crew hazard as they can be easily detectable and thus deep digging can be avoided after the detection of utilities such as electricity lines, gas pipes, and communication cables marked with such warning tapes. Warning tape is useful for ensuring correct ground marking and digging while also alerting employees about subsurface utilities.

What exactly are detectable warning tapes?

Considering that you have understood what warning tapes are, let’s take a look at detectable warning tapes and understand their utility too. Underground warning tapes that can be detected aid in the location, detection, identification, and protection of buried water, gas, telecommunications, and sewer lines. Detectable warning tapes are available in a variety of sizes and colors to indicate the connections that lay beneath.

You can order them in a variety of widths ranging from 3 to 6 inches. You can select the width based on the size of the pipe and how deeply it will be buried alongside the underground installations.

All non-metallic pipes that are to be buried are fitted with detectable caution tapes. This is done because nonmetallic pipes are undetectable by metal detectors, making it incredibly hard to find the locations where they were installed. Detectable tape, on the other hand, is made of an aluminium film that makes it easier to spot with a metal detector. Hence, Detectable warning tapes, when set up properly, reduce the likelihood of a disastrous digging accident that could endanger people’s lives or damage the costly underground installation.

All you need is a metal detector and you can quickly and accurately locate the utilities to know where to dig. Even if the underground tape isn’t visible to the human eye, the metal detector will catch the foil cover and let you know what lies beneath.

 What type of detectable warning tape would be suitable for your need?

The underground detectable warning tape is designed to be used in a concealed manner for a long period of time. Acids, alkalis, and other damaging substances commonly found in soil, as well as rodents, are not a problem. The imprinted warning sign is enclosed to avoid ink fading and to provide complete visibility to the naked eye.

So, browse for a detectable warning tape that is industrial-grade, has no adhesives; and is also imprinted with a precautionary text. Underground warning tapes meet the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) standardized color standard for warning tapes. The following are some examples of colour codes: 

White Proposed excavation
Red  Cables, electric power lines, conduit
Pink Temporary survey markings
Orange Communication, signal lines conduit, alarm
Yellow  Steam, petroleum, gas, oil, gaseous substances
Purple Reclaimed water, slurry lines, irrigation
Blue Potable water
Green  Drain lines and sewers

 What are the benefits of having detectable warning tape?

Underground detectable warning tape allows you to spot and prevent damage to critical distribution infrastructure. To minimize costly errors and severe damage to the crew, workers must first locate the utilities before excavating. It also saves you money by avoiding hefty maintenance expenses, fines, and outages. According to reports, the lack of any detectable subsurface caution tape causes damage every 6 minutes.

Using detectable caution tape in your building projects over time allows others to readily locate utilities, allowing you to avoid an expensive and deadly event. Detectable warning tape aids in the identification of subterranean cables, fibres, lines, and optical cables.