The Underground Detective is dedicated to providing the best underground utility service possible, not only in accuracy, quality, and price, but especially in safety. Underground utility detection requires careful consideration due to the nature of what we locate: utility wires and cables, bones, and even time capsules! Damage to any of these items would be detrimental and everyone should take the following steps to ensure underground utility safety during the entire excavation process.
1) The process begins by accurately marking the excavation area with white paint or flags. For more information on this, check out our blog post What Do The Colors Mean?
2) After the excavation area has been defined, 811 needs to be notified and they will notify applicable underground utility companies.
3) Any utilities that do not belong to the one call system can be checked by The Underground Detective.
4) After receiving the go-ahead from 811 and The Underground Detective, you may begin your project by doing the following:
–Have the contractor check to verify that utility markings are connected to physical features
–Gas markings are connected to gas valve boxes
–Wires coming down from utility poles are connected to underground electrical and communication markings
–Marked utilities are connected to manholes, valves, & draining structures
–Underground water mains connect to a water valve and/or hydrant
5) Contractor must verify the location of conflicting underground facilities
–If the underground utilities cannot be verified, the utility company must locate the underground utility
6) Any power equipment cannot be used within 4 inches of an underground utility.
–Only a hand shovel and/or vacuum excavation service can be used.
–Areas of excavation prohibitions:
–24 inches on either side of designated center line
–Upon verification of precise location, size, depth, and direction of utilities marked, excavation may begin within 24 inches
–Power equipment may only be used to remove pavement prior to verification of the underground utility location.
To learn more about underground safety, please visit our Safety and Health page. If you’re ready for the Underground Detective to help you tackle your underground excavation project, contact us for a free quote!