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Top Ten Underground Utility Myths

UtilityMythsReview these common myths to ensure you are following industry best practices and guidelines for underground utility installation. Incorporate these practices into your daily procedures, and remember —  safe operation saves lives!

Myth 1: Depths of utilities can be assumed.

Locator depths are approximate. Utilities must be exposed to verify location and depth.

Myth 2: It will never happen to me.

Utility strikes happen every day. The risk is too great to depend on chance.

Myth 3: Exposing to the depth of the utility is good enough.

Exposing just to the depth of the existing utility isn’t enough. Always expose to the depth of the intended bore path.

Myth 4: Just drill deeper to avoid existing utilities.

This practice can lead to inconsistent depths for certain utility installations, making future detection even harder. If a utility goes undetected, underground strikes can occur.

Myth 5: Sewer lines don’t need to be or cannot be located.

Several methods exist for locating sewage lines. Technology makes it easier to locate lines and verify they weren’t breached.

Myth 6: No locate marks = no utilities.

If there are no marks, this could mean it was not yet located. Inspect the area for evidence of underground activity.

Myth 7: If something happens after I call 811, they are liable.

811 does not locate utilities. It’s the responsibility of the excavator to verify locales have been completed and are correct.

Myth 8: Exposing utilities (potholing) is included as part of the contract price of the drilling.

This should not be assumed. It’s recommended to separate this activity from drilling in the quote.

Myth 9: We have to accept whatever the caller gives us.

When a contractor calls the center or utility, both parties should provide sufficient details so an accurate and complete locate can be made.

Myth 10: Electric strike alert systems can predict an electric strike.

Sometimes the system may activate in proximity of an energized line, but it cannot be relied on to detect the line before a strike happens.

For  more info, visit icuee.com/uua or contact the team at Haaker!