Many years ago, only water pipelines were buried underground even in cities. It was quite safe then for people to dig anywhere should they intend to construct a building or sewage project. It is no longer the same today as most utilities including electrical and communication lines which used to hang above our heads, are already buried beneath our feet.
There are approximately 2.6 million miles of pipeline across the U.S., according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Most of these are located underground. Add to it the presence of electrical and communication lines, and you will see that the subsurface houses the “veins” that carry the lifeblood of the existence of the modern American. Digging randomly nowadays is both a risk and a threat because it can compromise safety or cut the supply of electricity, water and other utilities to communities.
Take Electrical Lines as an Example
As you can see, electrical lines really look harmless, but they carry high voltage to bring electricity to an entire city. These lines are useful, but they can be hazardous and deadly if you come into contact with them for any reason. This is why entities engaged in excavation projects including directional drilling services and drilling companies in Colorado must inform concerned authorities when they intend to dig underground. Knowing what’s beneath the ground you wish to dig will prevent your excavating equipment or any digging tool like a shovel from inadvertently severing an electrical transmission line. Even simple digging tasks such as planting trees or re-anchoring your mailbox should be permitted by authorities because of the potential hazards they carry.
When digging results in a cut line, the homes and businesses affected by the damage will certainly experience power outages. If the severed part happens to be a major transmission line, a large area can potentially be paralyzed, exposing the people near the damaged electrical line to the risk of electrocution.
Safe Digging Practices
If you own or operate an excavation business like a Colorado directional drilling services company, you would normally pay close attention to these two aspects: cost efficiency and fast completion. But there’s a third aspect that is equally or even more important than these two – because it can certainly spoil them when it is compromised. This aspect is called Safety.
To avoid digging into buried utilities or pipelines and to prevent damage to existing site components, you should follow the best practices of underground wire location and observe strict security guidelines. These are the most important ones:
Know the Type of Soil – This will allow you to determine the best digging method and the most effective safety measure to apply. Different types of soil calls for different digging strategies.
Locate Underground Utilities – You must know what lies underneath the ground before you even commence your excavation project. Your best approach for this is to hire a competent utility locator company. They have the tools that can detect and identify pipes and cables that run underground.
Mark the Location of Underground Utilities – The main purpose of this is to let machine operators know the areas to avoid.
Inform Utility Companies before Commencing Your Project – This is a very important measure you must not neglect. You can avoid causing damage to utilities in areas surrounding your job site by letting utility companies know about your project.
Call 811 – If you are in Colorado, this is a smart move you must make in order to have utility lines found and marked. Digging without calling can potentially cause damage to buried utilities which can lead to the disruption of service to an entire community. This could also result in unwanted fines and repair costs. Call 811 before commencing any digging project or directional drilling services. It’s a free service that ensures underground utilities affected by a digging project are located and marked
Call a Professional – Most homeowners have a limited knowledge about the exact location of electrical lines buried beneath their property. Besides, these lines can shift over time due to erosion and other causes. It’s always wise to have these lines located by professionals such as the drilling companies in Colorado.
Advanced Line Systems is a provider of professional digging and excavation services. We have a reliable line of digging and drilling equipment of multiple sizes and more than 33 years of combined experience in all phases of the drilling process. Contact us if you need a professional, efficient, cost-effective and safe directional drilling service in Colorado.