Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 11

Early locate equipment was basic: typically, a box type with a single
frequency, low output, offering no reliable depth measurement
that was manufactured by firms like Fisher (M-scope) and the
Metrotech (480). Training on usage was minimal.
in the "downtown" area and which distributed a manufactured gas, created
from coal.
Natural gas began to be piped
throughout larger cities in the early
1900's. The history of utility locating in
Ontario really began to take shape in the
40's and 50's when natural gas distribution networks ramped up installation.
By that time, natural gas was becoming
available for consumers.
Up to that point, most other utilities
didn't typically require locates. Water
and sewer, for most of Canada, was
a minimum of 5-7' deep and power
and telephone were largely installed
above ground.
It was the introduction of networks
that were entirely underground, having the potential to cause death and
destruction, which created the pressing
need for safe, reliable locates.
Several key factors hindered the
advancement of the locate industry:
First, many of the buried utilities were
installed by linemen who worked for the
same utility for decades. Memory was
heavily relied on.
"Pretty sure we buried it there, Frank.
Near that tree. Or was it that other one?"
Not very efficient, but it worked...
sort of.
Second, there just wasn't as much
digging in Ontario. Newly installed infrastructure networks had yet to fail and
urban development was much slower
than the current pace.
Lastly, emergency locates were
often done by folks on a rotating
night and weekend call schedule. It
would be normal for a locator to do
2 or 3 locates every month or so;
nowhere near enough practice to be
considered proficient.
Early locate equipment was basic:
typically, a box type with a single frequency, low output, offering no reliable

depth measurement that was manufactured by firms like Fisher (M-scope) and
the Metrotech (480). Training on usage
was minimal. I recall being introduced
to the business over 40 years ago by
receiving a 45 second training demonstration on my locating equipment!
It wasn't until the 1970s before multiple frequency locate sets began to
emerge with a little more oomph. It was
a marked improvement over what had
been available.
As communities all over Ontario
rapidly expanded, more utilities were
placed in the ground. The resulting
underground congestion challenged
those who tried to find them for repair
or damage avoidance purposes.
During the 1980s and 1990s, a number of the original buried networks
began to fail in many major cities.
Replacing the 50 year old infrastructure
in congested utility corridors required
better locate practices and equipment
and the concept of specialized technicians who focused their attention
on locating within their utility began
to emerge.
Progressive utility owners began to
utilize locate service providers (LSP's) to
do the work on their behalf, allowing the
utility operations staff to focus on the
equally critical functions required to run
vast networks. It also allowed locators
to hone their skills, through advanced

training, practice, scheduling and operating efficiencies.
In the 1990's, comprehensive contracts were given out by the larger utilities, whereby one contractor began to
locate multiple utilities.
Another emerging trend was the use of
Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) to
more fully understand what infrastructure
is in the projected path of a project. SUE
has saved millions of dollars by helping to
avoid the "surprises" that cost so much
in re-planning and project delays.
In 2012, Bill 8 was passed making participation in Ontario One Call mandatory
for virtually everyone who has infrastructure in the ground. An excavator can
now contact Ontario One Call to begin
the excavation process and Dig Safe.
Currently, locates, and locates on
private property, are done by contractors, utility staff or the excavator utilizing multi-frequency, high power gear
and accessories.
What's in the future for the locating
industry? New developments such as
"Map as You Locate", cloud technology,
advanced data gathering and processing capabilities will probably be utilized
even more than they are today. But one
thing is for sure: Locators will always
be at the forefront of damage prevention, and the protection of underground
infrastructure assets workers on-site,
the public and property.

Theory of buried cable and pipe location.

Dave Wulff has been involved
in the provision of locating
gear, training, consultation
and helpful advice for over
30 years. He is on the Board
of Directors of the ORCGA and spearheaded the initiative to create focused
training and a recognized designation
for professional locate staff, Damage
Prevention Technician, DPT® Certification
Program.
FALL 2017

11



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017

President’s Message
The History of Locates in Ontario
Walking in a Locator’s Boots
The Challenges of Private Locates
Locates Made Easy For All of Us
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - Intro
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - cover1
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - cover2
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 3
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 4
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 5
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 6
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - President’s Message
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 8
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - The History of Locates in Ontario
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 10
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 11
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 12
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - Walking in a Locator’s Boots
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 14
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 15
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 16
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 17
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 18
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - The Challenges of Private Locates
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 20
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 21
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - Locates Made Easy For All of Us
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 23
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 24
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 25
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 26
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - cover3
Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/RGCB/RGCB0218
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