How to Locate Utilities Before Excavation

April 20, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Most public utilities in any community service the residents and businesses by relying on underground piping. This means that if you are going to do excavation work within any community, there is a risk that you will damage the local utilities and interrupt their service to the community. Local governments and utility providers usually impose hefty fines on persons or companies that damage utility lines. You also risk injuring yourself, employees and passersby, leading to a protracted legal battle where you will be forced to pay a huge compensation to the victims. To avoid finding yourself or your company in such complex situations, it’s critical that you abide by excavation precautions.

An excavation precautions guide

  • Survey and mark

It’s crucial that you survey your proposed excavation site and use flags, stakes or white paint to mark it. This will enable you to know precisely where the excavation will take place and where you need to figure out whether there are any utility lines under it. While doing the surveying and marking, make it abundantly clear to your team that nobody should begin excavation yet until you approve it.

  • Call 811

811 is designated as the national call-before-you-dig number. Therefore, once you are done surveying and marking your proposed excavation site, call 811 to find out what utilities are running beneath the surface. The number is connected to all the utility providers, and you can expect feedback from all of them in a couple of business days.

  • Be patient

Local utilities providers are supposed to provide feedback on locating utilities under your proposed excavation area two business days after making the 811 call. However, due to various reasons, it might take longer. You need to be patient and wait for responses from all utility providers before you start excavation.

  • Respect the marks

During the excavation, respect the marks and only dig inside of them. Going over the marks by even an inch can cause you a lot of trouble if you damage a utility pipe.

  • Dig with care

If there are utilities on your excavation site, dig with care. Do not use heavy machinery; instead, hand-excavate up to 24 inches on each side of the utility pipes.

Dealing With Unmarked Utilities

You should know that utility companies only mark utility pipes they own; thus, there might be unmarked utilities under your excavation site. Such unmarked utilities likely belong to the property owners around your excavation site. Once you make the 811 call to the utility companies, you should go on and ask property owners around the site whether they have unmarked utilities running under it. Ensure you conduct an extensive inquiry so that you don’t have any property owners around the excavation area.

Welcome to Estes Excavating Inc

Estes Excavating Inc has provided premier professional commercial excavating and demolition services to residents and businesses in the Jefferson, Indiana, area for over 40 years. We are a family-owned company that prioritizes providing top-class services at reasonable prices. We are also experts in land clearing, tree clearing, new construction preparation and environmental clean-up. Give us a call for all your excavation needs.

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