Digging down? Prevent injury and fines by planning ahead

In Canada, there are two seasons – hockey season and construction season. And now that it’s spring, outdoor projects are going to ramp up. With the sun shining, now is the time we start building decks, planting trees and seeing significant construction projects get underway.

What we need to remember, however, is that whether you’re a DIYer working on a minor backyard project or a contractor for larger construction projects, utilities can be buried just below the surface – and hitting a utility or pipeline can cause significant damage.

That’s why the Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) and Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) are encouraging people to click before they dig. It’s easy to do. When you visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com, you’re directed to the services you need in your province.

Requesting the location of buried utilities (a “locate”) just three days in advance could save you time, injury, repair costs and even fines.

After requesting a locate, utility companies are notified about digging plans. Professional locators are sent out to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and/or spray paint.


What’s the risk?


Each year, accidental damage to thousands of buried utilities costs Canadians more than $1 billion.

When services are interrupted, it can lead to environmental contamination, injury and even death. The costs of repair can be high, and emergency and other services may be required.

That’s why every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a visit to ClickBeforeYouDig.com.

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, including erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. The risk of striking an underground utility line exists even when digging only a few centimetres.

Underground infrastructure includes buried cables, wires, pipelines, water mains and sewer lines. They deliver heat, electricity, energy, water, phones and internet access. While the infrastructure is more extensive in cities and towns, transmission pipelines also cover great distances across remote regions of the country.

Plan ahead and visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com before undertaking any excavation project, no matter the size.