How to Locate and Identify Underground Utilities
Many public utilities have underground piping which is used to deliver services to all the residents and businesses of a given community. To avoid any injuries, damage to utilities, and or interruption of service, it is necessary to locate where these Utilities before beginning any excavation work. There are some hefty fines which can be levied against individuals or companies who damage utility lines.
Before any trenching or drilling begins at a work site utility companies are notified two working days before starting. This is done in the Bay Area by calling 811. This number is a notification service that goes to all utility companies to notify them that there will be excavation work being done in an area that they may have buried Utilities. Below is PG&E’s 5 Steps to a Safe Excavation.
- Survey and Mark– Survey proposed excavation areas and mark dig sites with white paint, flags, or stakes
- Call Before You Dig– Call 811 at least two Working days prior to starting work.
- Wait the Required Time– Allow utilities the full two days to locate and mark lines.
- Respect the Marks– Maintain the marks and respect them when digging.
- Dig with Care– Hand excavate within 24 inches of each side of the utilities.
Utility companies mark only utilities that belong to them. There can be buried gas or electric lines on the property that don’t belong to the utility company. For instance, a separate building like a mother-in-law unit or workshop may have gas and power that come from the main meters. These lines are generally owned by the property owner and the utility company will not locate them. There may be maps or markers showing the location of lines, but these are not always accurate. Another way utility lines are located is hiring a private underground locator. In either situation, once lines are located caution is always taken within 24 inches of any suspected line. Careful hand digging is done to verify depth and location.
Northern California Excavation and Drilling Experts
When choosing an excavating and Bay Area drilling contractor, choose one that is experienced and knows what they are doing. Lassiter Excavating, Inc. has made it our life’s work to specialize in deep foundation drilling, trenching, and all kinds of construction and excavating projects. We know exactly what needs to be done when it comes to utility safety. Contact us with whatever kind of excavation project you may need to accomplish, and ask us for a free quote, or just call (925) 449-3112 to have all your questions answered.