Utility locating, the process of clearly identifying gas lines and other buried utilities, is essential for protecting your excavation team from serious consequences. This important step should never, ever be skipped. Here’s why:
Damaged Utilities Pose Serious Risks
In 2015, a construction crew replacing water lines in Pennsylvania struck an electric line with their track hoe. In the blink of an eye, the sparks emitted caught a nearby gas pipe on fire. The resulting fire blazed for hours before the gas could be shut off. A special Taskforce aided firefighters and emergency crews in re-routing traffic, evacuating the neighborhood and stopping the fire from doing even more damage.
How did the track hoe hit the electric line? Didn’t the crew know it was there?
Well, the utility locator who visited the site prior to the project’s start neglected to mark the street crossing where the electric line was buried and later struck.
Anyone who has been in this business for as long as we have can tell you dozens of similar stories. Each one illustrates the dangers of striking buried utilities, and in almost every case, the catastrophe could have been avoided by taking one simple step.
Call Before You Dig
Before beginning an excavation project, you must call 811 — the National Call-Before-You-Dig hotline. Dial it up a few days before your project is set to begin. The operator will ask for the address of your project, your general work plan and the exact areas where you will be digging. Utilities will respond to your call in a few days and locate and clearly mark all buried lines. This helps you avoid digging too close to buried utilities, and taking this small step can save lives.
Practice Safer Digging with Hydrovac Excavation Trucks
Our hydro excavation trucks also enhance safety on the job. Precise jetting means you only dig up what you need, and debris is safely and immediately transferred into storage. You’ll see underground utilities with your own eyes and can know exactly what you are excavating. This allows for a level of clarity never before possible, keeping your team safer and significantly reducing the risk of striking lines.
Create the safest possible digging experience by calling 811 before beginning work and choosing hydro excavation!