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Xtrem Hunter possible new market


Well-known member
I went to a meeting of my local detecting club tonight and bumped into two gentlemen from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They were on a fact-finding mission in relation to new regulations slated for 2024 pertaining to water pipes. With the new regulations, apparently water supply companies will need to inventory public and private supply lines and evaluate if they are lead, copper, or galvanized steel. Someone suggested metal detectors might be a viable alternative and suggested they talk to some detectorists. So they stopped by the meeting and we got to talking.

Ultimately, the plan is to replace all lead lines throughout the United States, but most companies have incomplete records for the main lines, and little to no record of private lines. Complicating the issue is the water main may be one type, the line to the meter may be another type, and the line from the meter to the house may be another. Very few property owners grant access to the structure, which means they cannot look inside everyone’s house. Even if they could, lines visible in the basement are not necessarily indicative of the type of line present outside the house. So, the goal is to be able to determine the water line type from outside the structure — preferably by noninvasive means. A metal detector capable of detecting the line and differentiating these three metals would be ideal, and much cheaper and faster than hydroexcavating or other invasive means.

Water line depth varies depending on typical frost depth across the country. In my neck of the woods, waterlines might be up to 3 feet depth. But in the south they might be as shallow as one foot. The EPA gentleman said that even if a noninvasive method only works in one part of the country, it is still a major win.

They had three pipe sections with them, one of each type. I showed them the D2 (9” coil) had no problem differentiating between the three types when the pipe was a foot away or so. I also used pinpoint/all metal mode to show them the difference between a point feature and a linear feature. We also discussed many other aspects of detecting I won’t bother recounting here. However, a 1 to 2 inch waterline at 3 feet depth is going to be beyond the capability of a 9 inch coil.

I recall someone posted an estimated depth chart for the Xtrem Hunter based on target size. But, I am not finding it. If someone knows where it is, could you either repost it here or let me know where to find it? I explained to the EPA gentleman a two-box set up might possibly be able to find a water pipe lengthwise at three feet depth, but perhaps not crosswise. However, I cautioned I have not used a two box setup before, so they might be able to obtain better information from XP. A critical piece of needed information is this: is the Xtrem Hunter capable of discriminating? I know in the video, the word “steel” is shown on the screen. If the Xtrem Hunter can discriminate and can pick up pipes at typical depths, then this may be the method of choice for sections of the country with deeper frost lines.

I gave the EPA gentlemen the web address of a couple forums (including this one), so they may browse through or even post some questions, or they may contact XP directly.

Inventorying waterlines nationwide sounds like a large job. XP, if this turns into a good market for you, I wouldn’t turn down a finder’s fee... 😁