Reader Response

Reducing Underground Utility Damage during Construction (Geoff Zeiss, Fall 2020)

Leo Harry, via Wires when put under the ground surface, in cases of erosion, would be much more dangerous to humans and animals if they came in contact with water, it would tend to electrocute everyone within the immediate area.

Author Response: Underground electric cables are heavily insulated and often further protected by plastic, zinc, or reinforced concrete conduits and tracer wires to make their location more easily detectable. Electricity is not carried far in water – it depends on the concentration of electrolytes.

Nathan Egginton, via LinkedIn: Developing and maintaining an accurate 3D map of underground infrastructure has potential benefits for other use cases beyond construction such as utility outage management, disaster planning, emergency response, urban digital twins and smart cities.

Ian Olson, Pointerra, via LinkedIn: That’s a massive gap in incidents. Is this due to procedural, cultural or technological differences in utility locating?

Response from Michael A Twohig: You are right, and the numbers speak for themselves. We all have access to similar technologies but the individual states in the U.S. take their own approach. While the state One Call Centers have done a great job in improving the response tracking, asset owner’s involvement and underground damage prevention awareness, the ability to fine and penalize flagrant violators is disappointing to say the least. Just look at the guilty party in the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin fatal event. The violators have not paid the fine, trade under a different name and made a mockery of Best Practices. They are not alone with blame. Fiber buildout continues to build using tier down contract to transfer risk and a quick internet search will highlight many incidents of fiber contractors smashing facilities. It seems no one in the industry sees a pattern. Or maybe they contribute enough dollars to public awareness that it (is) hard to tell the fox from the chicken?

Private Utility Locating and Cross Bore Risks (Staff Report, Fall 2020)

David Heldenbrand, Bison Engineering, Emergency response procedures should be reviewed to determine risks to nearby structures.

Patroller Program Drives Improved Damage Prevention (Daniel FitzPatrick, Fall 2020)

Frank Peverly, PMP, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., via LinkedIn: Great work by Dan and the damage prevention team ensuring public, contractor and system safety.

GPR Consortium (Forrest Sim, Fall 2020)

Andy Kitson, Murphy Surveys, via LinkedIn: Great article. I’m very excited to be attending the Global GPR Congress next year. It’s always good to catch up with those in the industry and learn from each other.

Author Response: I’m super excited to attend the Global GPR Congress, as a GPR professional, as the owner of Enhanced Scanning, and as a member of the board of directors of the GPR Consortium. Read the article on to learn more about the Consortium. We will hear talks and participate in panel discussions on GPR-related topics; and take part in the first face-to-face meeting of the GPR Consortium!