Protecting people and infrastructure from harm since 1992

Utility Location Services


Utility Locating Company


Underground Pipe Inspection Service


Concrete Scanner


Utility Location Services


Utility Location Equipment


Electric Fault Location


Utility Locator



It was 1984 and Richard “Dick” Mulvaney was working for Vermont Gas in downtown Burlington, Vt. While jack hammering in the street, he hit two power lines. One was 13.8kv (13,800 volts) and the other 7.2kv (7,200 volts). Although other lines in the vicinity had been marked, these two were not. Dick spent the next two months in the hospital and the next two years recovering. The doctors used the word “miracle” freely, for with the amount of damage his body sustained, he should not have survived. Yet two years after the accident, in 1986, Dick was back to work at Vermont Gas this time learning to locate their facilities. In 1992 Dick started his own locating company, Vermont Underground Locators, and had been at it ever since.

“A missed mark is not an option.” ~ Richard Mulvaney

In January 2017 Dick sold the assets of the firm.
During the transition, he continued to work part-time in the summertime. However Dick is now fully enjoying the benefits of retirement, and Vermont Underground Locators is a wholly owned subsidiary of TCE Group Holding Company, LLC.  Since then, our staff has continued to grow. Check out “Our Team” to see our current Locator and Management teams.


General Locate$180/hr
GPR UtilityScan
GPR MiniXT Concrete
Camera Inspection$205/hr
Mobilization Fee$75/hr
Vacuum Excav, Geophysical EM61, utility, or other surveysFree Estimate upon request

Time is billed in 1/2 hr increments after a 1 hr minimum.

Mobilization Fee

Travel time is billed to and from Williston, VT. plus the Federal Standard Mileage Rates.

Cancellation Fee

We require 24 hours notice for cancellation, otherwise a $150 fee will be assessed.


Most locates come under the General Locate category and don’t involve the use of GPR, Cameras, or Mapping. Marking of municipal sewer and storm drain will usually require GPR, however, we find that for most projects these aren’t of any concern. For residential and small commercial, we usually assume 20 minutes per utility unless the site is unusually large or congested with utilities. Give us a call and we can help you with an estimate for your site.

Helpful Hints

These are some things that can help your locate go quickly and smoothly:

  1. Prepare a clear description of the scope of work and what does/doesn’t need to be marked.
  2. Gather any prints or documentation that may give us an idea of where to look for things such as underground storage tanks.
  3. If you will not be on site at the time of the mark-out, premark the area clearly in white (Hint—it should already be pre-marked for Dig Safe.)


Q. What is Dig Safe?

Dig Safe is a non-profit organization. Dig Safe is a free service, funded solely by its utility members to promote public safety and avoid costly underground utility damage. In MA, ME, RI, VT, and NH it’s the law that before a person or contractor digs they must notify premark the area and notify Dig Safe at least 48 hours excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, but not more than30 days before commencing excavation activities.

Dig Safe itself is primarily a call center and their employees do not mark the utilities themselves. When you call Dig Safe or complete an on-line ticket, their operators record all of the information you give them about your dig site. Dig Safe then dispatches all of the subscribing member utilities that might be near your dig area to locate their respective utility and in some cases they hire other companies to do the work. Not all utilities are required to participate in the Dig Safe Program.

In addition to our private locating we currently provide Dig Safe public utility locating services for Vermont Electric Co-Op and Waitsfield and Champlain Valley TeleCom (Green Mountain Access).

Q. How far down can you "see"?

Unfortunately, we cannot actually see underground any better than you can. However we have specialized equipment that we use such as ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic locators that we use to determine the approximate depth and location of utilities. In some cases GPR can identify utilities below ground up to 15 feet below the surface. When we’re locating a conductive line (TV, phone, power, gas, etc.), we have found lines that are more than 30′ deep. We also have up to 400’ of camera line we can use to probe inside a pipe and determine its condition and location.

Q. When you talk about locating “conductive” lines, does that mean that you’re using a metal detector?

No. We use various electromagnetic transmitters to put a signal on each line then follow it out with a receiver tuned to the same frequency. This means we cannot always get a good signal on non-conductive pipe materials such as PVC or concrete. However, we have specialized equipment and over 25 years of experience we use to “find” those hard to find utilities.

Q. Are you hiring? And will you train employees?

Yes, we are growing fast and always looking for reliable and dependable people who want to work independently and care about protecting people and infrastructure from harm. If you want to learn more or apply for a position as a locating technician send your resume to Autumn [at] vtlocators.com  or checkout Indeed.com for current positions available in your area.  We offer competitive wages and will train you with one of our qualified locating technicians.

Q. What's the difference between public and private utilities?

Public utilities are installed by utility companies to provide service to an area. These lines are owned and maintained by the public utility company regardless of whether they are located on public or private property. Public utilities typically include gas, power, and electric.

Private utilities are those which go beyond service meters or public utilities, often onto privately owned property. Examples of private utilities can include electrical feeders and gas mains running through parking lots or to critical facilities such as hospitals or fire stations. They can also include lines running to and from substations, heavy industrial facilities, and refineries. These utilities would be owned and maintained by the property owner, placing them outside of the jurisdiction of public utility locating companies.

Q. Do you do geophysical surveys and/or located underground storage tanks?

Yes, we use a Geonics EM61 Mark II, which  is a powerful time domain metal detector that is able to detect both ferrous and non-ferrous metal using a single transmitter coil and two receiver coil. It generates a magnetic field from the transmitter inducing eddy currents in nearby metal objects.  The Geonics EM-61 Mark II detects a single 200-litre (55 gal) drum at a depth of over 3 meters (10 feet) beneath the instrument, yet is relatively insensitive to nearby cultural interference, such as fences, buildings and power lines. Response is a single, sharply defined peak, greatly facilitating quick & accurate location of the target. Depth of the target can usually be estimated from the width of the response.  In addition to our ground penetrating radar, and other metal detecting equipment we can accurately locate metal objects located below the surface.  We also use Trimble RTK GPS to locate above or below ground features and can produce high quality GIS or AutoCAD maps. All our work is done under the supervision of a (VT and NH) registered land surveyor.

Q. Who is required to participate as a subscribing member utility?

Who may participate voluntarily, and what they must mark, varies from state to state. For instance, power companies are ALL required to participate in all states. However, what they mark varies.

For example, in Vermont, most power companies only mark from the street to the meter. This means that if your meter is on a pole down by the road, the line from that pole up to your house will not be marked. But the telephone may be marked all the way to the house.

In New York, the secondary power, power after the transformer but before the meter, may not get marked once it crosses on to private property.

Usually, municipal sewer and water are not required to participate; they usually do on a voluntary basis though. In some places, utilities will provide positive response, eg; marking NO FPTel or NO VTGas to let you know that they’ve been there. Other places and utilities do not have this requirement.

In general, Dig Safe is an invaluable program and protects many lives and infrastructure. It is a great starting point and the LAW – SO ALWAYS CALL 811 or visit www.digsafe.com BEFORE YOU DIG.

At Vermont Underground Locators we go above and beyond the limitations of Dig Safe and can further assist you with locating public AND private utilities within your work area to the best of our ability and within the limitations of our equipment. Our experienced locating technicians can also survey and map your utilities for future reference. We carefully document our work and can be an invaluable part of your construction or design project. In addition we can assist with finding power faults, leaks, or doing camera inspection services on various buried utilities.




You can find us at the following address:
494 Blair Park Road, Williston, VT 05495


Use the form, or email us at the following address:


Our office is open Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm
Office: 802-863-7113 


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