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Private Utility FAQ

  • What should I look for in a Private Utility Locate Contractor?

    Excavating is risky business. Contracting an experienced, professional utility locating service provider can effectively reduce your risk. To ensure that you select the right provider, be sure to ask for the following:
     
     
    • Over 5 years in business
    • The ability to provide multiple work references
    • Experienced and fully trained field staff
    • Documented Quality Control/Quality Assurance procedures
    • A range of utility locating technologies to locate all private utilities, including non-toneable
    • State-of-the-art locating kits
    • Sewer tracing capability
    • Ground penetrating radar (GPR) experience
    • Dispatch support and scheduling
    • Fully insured
    • Superior locate training, confined space entry trained, fall arrest trained, WHMIS trained
    • Industry involvement, associations and memberships
     

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  • What types of underground services are considered “private”?

    • Water and wastewater inside private property boundaries
    • Electricity beyond the site transformer or meter, including power to outbuildings, signage, parking lot lighting, gate arms, fuel dispensers, machinery etc.
    • Gas beyond the meter to outbuildings, generators, machinery
    • Telecom (telephone and CATV) beyond the first utility room including communications for gate arms, card lock facilities, between site buildings etc.
    • Fuel piping including the fill and vent lines from UST’s and product lines to pump islands and fuel dispensers
    • Irrigation lines, slurry lines
     

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  • Why do you need a Locate Form on-site when you dig?

    Having your locate forms on-site during your excavation ensures:
    • All utilities are located and marked
    • The ground markings match those shown on your locate sketch
    • You dig only inside the locate area as defined on the sketch
    • Your locates are still valid

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  • Why should I be concerned about ‘private’ utilities and other subsurface facilities?

    The Ontario Health & Safety Act (OHSA) indicates that it is the responsibility of the private utility services owner to mark underground utilities. Often, landowners are not aware of the extent of the underground infrastructure network located on their property.
     
    Marking underground utilities enhances worker safety and eliminates the risk of life threatening events such as electrocution and gas explosions. Service disruptions are also minimized while project efficiencies are gained – utility conflicts can be resolved at the outset of a project to avoid costly construction delays at later stages. 

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