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Learn all about locating and marking in the water utility industry.


Water and Wastewater Line Locating

Find it the first time! The 3M™ Electronic Marker System (EMS) for Water and 3M™ Electronic Marker System (EMS) for Wastewater helps save time and money by enabling field crews to quickly pinpoint the location of buried facilities including valves, bends, clean-outs and road crossings. Using EMS markers for water and sewer pipe location during construction, installation and maintenance virtually eliminates the time consuming search for hard-to-locate facilities.

3M EMS markers used for water and sewer pipe location are color-coded to APWA standards for visual reference and water utilities have their own frequency to reduce location errors. For water and sewer pipe location, markers are color coded as follows:

Water Utility: BlueGeneral Purpose/Reclaimed Water: PurpleWastewater Utility Markers: Green

3M EMS Water series can be used to locate:

  • Buried valves
  • Clean-outs
  • PVC pipeline
  • Road crossings
  • Pipeline paths
  • Service stubs
  • Bends
  • Trees

Interactive Locating and Marking Guide for the Water, Wastewater and General Purpose Industry
View PDF Version of this guide (PDF, 422.38 KB)

Our interactive application guide shows you where 3M Locating & Marking products are applied in commercial and residential spaces and why they’re better than conventional approaches.

  • 3M Locating & Marking Application Guide for the Water industry.

Main or Service Stubs
  • High likelihood need to connect later or due to new construction
  • Pinpoint location of connection point where a locator may not provide the needed level of accuracy
  • Stubs often get knocked down or covered when their end is above ground
Main or Service Repair Locations
  • Higher risk point for future failures, where to look first when there’s an issue
  • Easily able to identify and map
  • Ease of identification using a marker and precise positive location
Main to Service Connection
Shutoff Valve and Meter
All Joints, Fittings and Changes in Direction
  • Logical point of failure (leak)
  • Assists in path marking of critical assets
Ball and Near Surface Markers
Path Marking
  • 3M EMS Caution Tape and Rope
  • For use in open trench and HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling) applications
  • A maintenance free solution for marking and locating the path of underground plastic pipes and casing.

Discover how St. Louis MSD benefited from using 3M™ Electronic Marker System (EMS) technology.

  • image of open trench with green ems caution tape for waste water industry

    A sewer district improves contractor’s ability to accurately identify pipe location, and reduce accidental force main damage. In an effort to meet EPA requirements, this resulted in less environmental impact from overflow and related cleanup costs.

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