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Look Down! Avoid Contact with Underground Utilities

Beneath our feet is a vast system of gas lines, fiber optic cables, phone lines, water lines and electrical cables. Every year, there are hundreds of contacts with underground facilities, posing a serious safety risk, not to mention disruption to services and expensive repairs.

Alberta Municipal Affairs recently released its 2016 Electrical Incidents Report in which it notes 287 contacts with underground electrical systems alone. Figures from 2008 to 2016 show a steady increase in incidents, sobering statistics to consider before breaking ground on a spring project.

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Underground Powerline Contacts

 

71

 

96

 

113

 

64

 

213

 

264

 

248

 

276

 

287

Before starting any project that will involve ground disturbance, contact Alberta One-Call, allowing at least two working days before your project start date. Battle River Power Coop members must also call the office for locates of electrical lines past the meter. These are private lines, not registered with Alberta One-Call, and Battle River Power Coop will be happy to verify their location.

Each utility with buried facilities will use color coded flags, stakes or paint to mark their locations. Red means electrical; yellow means gas or oil; orange is for telephone, TV and other communications systems and blue means water. Underground structures are, by nature, hidden from direct view so it is a good idea to take the added precaution of a walk-around before you start to dig. Do you see evidence of a specific utility and an absence of markers? If so, you are advised to call the utility directly and ask if the locate is complete.

Look down before you dig, and use the help available from Alberta On-Call and Battle River Power Coop.

A summary of the Electrical Incidents in Alberta Report is available at http://www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/cp_electrical_forms_and_reports

Contact Alberta One-Call Corporation: http://albertaonecall.com/

Contact Battle River Power Coop: http://www.brpower.coop/about/contact

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