Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 19

FEATURE

THE CHALLENGES
of Private Locates

By John Scaife, P.Geo. Director URBAN X and Grant Piraine, C.E.T., DPT
INTRODUCTION
Thanks to the Ontario Underground
Infrastructure Notification System Act
and the concerted efforts of all Ontario
public utility stakeholders, including the
ORCGA, awareness regarding underground utility damage prevention continues to result in significant increases
in locate requests with a simultaneous
relative decrease in the number of damages caused by excavators. The system
of processes, responsibilities and regulations regarding these "public locates"
are well documented and understood;
however, the "private locates" system
is much different.
From a technical perspective, the processes by which public and private utilities are physically traced and marked
are very similar; in fact, the locate equipment, procedures and operational
requirements are virtually the same.
However, private locate contractors
face additional challenges than their
public counterparts including: incomplete or non-existent records, varying
business environments and operational
conditions which are most at times very
different. To understand and appreciate
these challenges, we must examine the
stakeholder roles and the public and
private utility locate processes.

UNDERSTANDING
STAKEHOLDER ROLES
To begin to understand the challenges
of private locates, we need to understand the roles of the major public utility stakeholders typical to the locate
industry in Ontario:

* The public utility owner: the owner of
the underground utility who is responsible for installation, construction,
operation and maintenance of their
assets. The role of the utility owner
includes responsibility to their shareholders, stakeholders and customers for service delivery continuance
through protection of their underground assets which includes proactive damage prevention via the
utility locate process;
* The locate service provider: the utility
locate service is provided by either
the utility owner's internal resources
or a sanctioned contractor. The role
of the damage prevention technician
(DPT) is to protect the underground
assets of the utility owner from damage due to excavation;
* The excavator: the party responsible for breaking ground that, under
OHSA, has a duty to ensure that
locates are completed.

PUBLIC LOCATES
The entire public locate process is controlled and paid for by the public utility
owner, including education and awareness, the resources at ON1Call and provision of DPT locate documentation; this
work is completed to the standards,
tolerances, insurance requirements and
business practices of the utility owner
and relevant Provincial regulations. This
process follows business logic that is
in the best interest of the utility owner
to protect their assets using developed
systems, protocols and procedures. The
legislated ON1Call system ensures that

all utility owners within the public lands
are notified of the excavation request so
they can facilitate public utility locates to
protect their underground assets keeping workers and the public safe.
Public utility owners not only pay for
asset protection but are also fully supportive of the public locate process. In
most instances, if a public utility owner
does not have a record showing the
location of the underground asset, or
the underground asset cannot be accurately marked by the DPT, the public
utility will take custody of the issue and
look for alternate means of supplying
this information to the excavator.
These public locates are provided on
underground utility plant owned and
maintained by the utility. Public utilities
are within the municipal right of ways
and road allowances and may exist on
private property via easements. The
public utility owner is responsible for its
assets to the point at which they have
delivered their 'service' to their customer, or the demarcation point. Prior to
the demarcation point, the public utility
owner will take responsibility for protection of their asset by providing locates.
Beyond the demarcation point, the utility
owner does not own the asset will not
provide asset protecting locates.
For example, a gas distribution
company's assets include ownership
of the all gas distribution plant up to
and including the regulator/meter on
each private property; the demarcation point. The landowner can retain
an authorized contractor to install additional gas lines within their property to
FALL 2017

19



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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