The State of Michigan is a unique place, with vast waterways that are used for many purposes. From tourism to recreation, transportation to industry, our waterways serve a multitude of functions by keeping the economy flowing, tourists visiting, and wildlife flourishing. Michiganders are never more than six miles from some sort of body of water and never more than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes. We can visit one of 11,000 inland lakes, 76,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. With the largest freshwater coastline in the United States, Michigan has 80 public harbors and 400 private marinas that never leave a boater more than 30 miles from a safe port.
Michigan is the Great Lakes State.
With all its industries and immense ecosystems, there is a delicate balance between manufacturing and nature. There are many facilities that cross our bodies of water, which include ponds and wetlands. Michigan’s distinctive geographical position puts it in a position to help both the environment and industry.
MISS DIG 811, Michigan’s One Call Notification Center, has developed a platform to achieve just that: the Marine Ticket.
The Marine Ticket was developed to protect facilities and infrastructures that run through, or lie in, bodies of water. It creates a line of communication between the excavator, facility owner/operator, and locator, in which the goal is damage prevention of facilities, infrastructure, and the aquatic ecosystems.
MISS DIG 811 was developed in order to provide excavators and the general public the ability to inform multiple owners of underground facilities of excavation with an online request or single call. Michigan’s statute, Public Act 174 of 2013, requires anyone who engages in, or is responsible for, the planning or performance of any type of excavation to provide advance notice of at least three full working days to MISS DIG 811. This is a free service.
Dig notices (tickets) are placed by using the online platform or calling the notification center. Several different types of tickets can be placed with MISS DIG 811 and the Marine Ticket is one of the newest. MISS DIG 811 is committed to the protection of our waterways and the aquatic ecosystems by preventing damages to submerged facilities and infrastructures.
The Marine Ticket is optional for excavators to place, but mandatory for the facility owner/operator, MISS DIG 811 members, to respond to per Public Act 174. There are two ways an excavator may place a Marine Ticket – by calling MISS DIG 811 and speaking directly with a Notification System Representative or online.
Communication between the excavator, facility owner/operator, and locator is initiated through the MISS DIG 811 system by the excavator placing the Marine Ticket. During placement, a meeting time is set for all parties involved in the submerged facility excavation project. This communication is crucial throughout the entire process and continues until the end of the project.
The locating of submerged facilities can be difficult due to many critical factors: directional waves, wave induced water velocity, steady current boundary, wave induced bottom velocities, hydrodynamic forces, soil resistance, and pipe weight. Because of these forces and their effects on the facility location, the Caution Zone and/or Tolerance Zone is much larger than on-land excavation. These zones will vary from state to state in accordance to individual laws. Other important factors are anchor spread and drag, which can have devastating effects upon submerged facilities.
The technology used to locate and mark the submerged facility is dependent upon the size of the facility, material of the facility, depth of water, material composition of the underwater floor, and the depth the facility is positioned within or on the floor of the body of water. Temporary markers such as buoys, poles, or PVC markers should be used by underwater facility owner/operators to indicate the presence of a submerged facility in an area of excavation. During certain situations, these markers may be supplemented with mapping, GPS coordinates, and/or fixed high-bank markers. Markers should include the following information:
• Facility type
• Facility owner/operator name
• Contact number of the facility owner/operator
• Applicable warning language: DO NOT ANCHOR OR DREDGE
Permanent markers are placed as close as practically possible at the entrance and exit points of submerged facilities where they are at risk of being damaged. For natural and other gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, these affected bodies of waters are “commercially navigable waterways” that have been defined in 49 CFR 195.450 for hazardous liquid pipelines as “waterways where a substantial likelihood of commercial navigation exists.”
In conjunction with the Marine Ticket, MISS DIG 811 offers the Design Marine Ticket. The Design Marine Ticket is a communication to the notification system in which a request is placed to facility owner/operators for information regarding underwater facilities for predesign, design, or advance planning purposes only. The obligation of the facility owner/operator is to first determine whether they have facilities in the design area, and then to provide drawings or records for the areas described by the requestor. In Michigan, the facility owner/operator is required to reply to a design request within ten business days per Public Act 174.
Michigan’s central geographical position to the Great Lakes region creates an opportunity for MISS DIG 811 to take a primary stance in the stewardship of our natural resources and water ways. The vision of the Marine Ticket is to protect our infrastructures and facilities from damage, which in turn secures the well-being of the environment and aquatic ecosystems. MISS DIG 811 will take that lead role and create a coalition of Safe Great Lake States and the facility owner/operators that excavate in and around our waterways.
For more information about the Marine Ticket or to become a member of the Safe Great Lakes States, please contact Pat Goddard, MISS DIG 811 Education Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (906) 553-0033.