How to Deal With Underground Utilities Safely

Do you run a building site? Maybe you’ve got a construction business or you’re a general manager on a construction. If so you’ll probably have to deal with the installation of underground utilities. This is plumping pipes, sewer pipes, and the installation of any other services for your building.

So how do you manage this? The safety aspects and the practicalities of it. Here’s everything you need to know about underground utilities.

Local Aggregated Services

Local aggregated services may allow you to schedule online. Or they can connect you to private location services for an additional cost. They can locate and tag any private utility networks in your area that are not covered by 811 plans.

Service providers will determine the presence of underground utilities within the working area. These indicate their location. Do your research before you approach a utility location service provider. They can provide you with comprehensive information on underground services.

They can create accurate and detailed maps showing the location (including depth) of pipes and cables in that locality.

To create these maps, team leaders can call 811 to locate utilities, or use a private geolocation company.

Dealing With Utility Providers

Complete all utility disconnect requests from your utility provider before proceeding. Familiarise yourself with safe earthwork practices in your area.

For communications that must remain, secure the lines. Create a separate bypass plan for these communications if trouble arises.

Lines Left In Place

Integrate lines left in place into your bim models.  Add newly installed lines to utility maps. After you resolve all outages hand over the site to a utility company for service removal.

Crews mark their underground structures or warn excavators that there are few underground lines. Remember that utilities will label their underground structures, usually up to a meter.

Because of the difficulty in locating underground structures, create a 2-foot buffer zone on either side of the utility network. Missouri law calls this the approximate location.

As the excavation moves closer to the calculated location of the underground structures, the exact location of these structures must be determined safely and acceptably.

Excavation Plans

To prepare a productive excavation plan for construction in an already developed area, designers are required by law to survey the area and map any communications that are located underground.

Using a uat-600 receiver, (it doesn’t matter if it has a transmitter), surveyors can track the location of individual power lines, gas, water, and other communications. Using the receiver and transmitter, it is also possible to accurately determine the depth of these users down to 20 feet.

General Direction of Service Lines

You can determine the general direction of the service lines yourself, but you should always check with a location service before digging. Landscaping lighting cables are not identified by 811 location services, so dig methodically and slowly, regularly inspecting the excavation for unexpected pipes and cables.

A safety distance must be maintained to avoid contact with buried pipes and cables. You must make sure that not only does everyone keep a safe distance from the damaged power system, but also that the damage does not spread further.

Risk Awareness

Raise risk awareness with a presentation on the underground services dashboard and make sure your team knows how to dig safely. When planning, you can consider how risks will be managed, such as excavation permits and controls to protect underground utilities.

Before excavating, it is necessary to be very aware of the risks and hazards present at the excavation site. Contingency plan before starting any excavation or excavation near an underground resource, it is advisable to have a contingency plan in hand.

Phone 811: Know Where You Are Digging

The first step to preventing contact with underground power lines is to call 811, which the fcc has designated as the national toll-free number in the united states.

This toll-free 811 coordination service will mark the location of utilities to the point where lines first connect to a home or utility meter. When a contractor calls a call center or utility, both parties must clearly and clearly state the information provided so that an accurate and safe location can be determined.

While these indicators can signal the absence of underground structures in the excavation area or drilling site, look for additional warning signs at the start of excavation.

Whenever a homeowner plans to dig or dig in any way, it is vital to find and not damage the power lines running through your property. There can be as many different types of pipes and wires going through the lawn at different depths, all of which can lead to a costly or dangerous accident if you cut the line while digging.

The Common Ground Alliance

The Common Ground Alliance suggests an underground engineering line gets damaged every 6 minutes across the country because someone was digging without knowing the location of their lines.

Underground communications in Michigan are damaged every year during excavations, resulting in service disruptions and endangering lives and property.

Digging with traditional hand tools such as a shovel can damage some underground utilities and is therefore unacceptable. You could try a ripsaw nozzle instead, especially when it comes to sewer pipes.

Where there is reason to believe that underground utilities may be present, manual excavation with insulated tools should be used. For example, never use a pole drill to dig up fence posts within one meter of an underground power line to find signs.

They will be able to mark the locations of the lines for you, but you or your contractor should call them first. Utility operator markings include the color corresponding to the type of facility.

They also include the company ID (name, initials, abbreviation) when other companies use the same color, the number of their installations as well as a description of the facility.

Underground Utilities: Do Your Research And Plan

Understand that underground utilities are important to get right if you are working on a construction project. Ensure that you know where the various pipelines and wires are before you do any underground drilling.

You must consult with experts and local government if you are digging with water or you want to use underground equipment.

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