Underground Warning Tapes are used for the safety and protection of underground utility lines. The tape is laid above the utility pipes/bundles, providing a warning that there is a utility asset under the tape. There are two primary types: Detectable and Non-Detectable.
Detectable Underground Warning Tape (Tracer Tape) allows a locator to detect the placement of the tape, thereby showing the placement of the underlying utility asset without digging. Tracer Tapes are multi-layered with an aluminum core.
Non-Detectable Underground Warning Tapes are laid above the utility asset to protect from digging accidents. When the warning tape is dug up, the digger knows to stop digging as there is a utility asset under the tape. Non-Detectable Tape is made of polyethylene (PE) and is usually 4 mil to 8 mil thick, depending on the specification needed. It is important for the tape to be heavy metal free, as heavy metals cause the tape to discolor when placed underground, thereby rendering them difficult to see and hard to discern the APWA color. The APWA color of the tape helps the digger know which utility asset is located under the tape.
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