Ear to the Ground - Fall 2017 - 21

service equipment or out-buildings.
However, the gas company doesn't
own this landowner installed segment
of underground gas plant beyond the
demarcation point, this asset is owned
by the private property owner.

PRIVATE LOCATES
Although the technical processes to
protect the private assets are essentially
the same, the private locate process is
structured by the independent business
practices of the private locate contractor
and their contractual relationship with
their typical client, the excavator. The
key differences here are utility ownership awareness, business environment
and operational conditions.
It is in the best interest of any owner
to protect their assets. For a private
business landowner, these assets
include any structures, systems,
resources or staff which assist in the
generation of revenue. However, they
often don't realize that their responsibility also extends to their underground
assets, and as such, they are a key
stakeholder in the asset protection utility locate process.
Contractually, the immediate client
for the private utility locate contractor is
rarely the asset owner (landowner) but a
representative, professional consultant
or contracted party (excavator), retained
by the asset owner or tenant to facilitate
evaluation and/or change of the owner's
physical assets. Private locate contractors are typically hired by these third
parties, not the asset owner, such that
the third party is procuring and paying
for the private locate service. Although
the role of the DPT is protect the utility
owners assets, the subtle distinction
is that the private locate contractor is
not really hired to protect these underground assets but to protect their client
(usually the excavator) from damaging
these assets.
Operationally, following industry
established protocols (see CCGA Best
Practices) the utility records such as
all maps, documents, notes, construction as-builts, etc., possessed by the
asset owner should be provided by
the asset owner to the private locator

to complete their work. However, this
information is often not supplied to the
private locate contractor, either by the
asset owner or by their client (usually
the excavator). Ideally, the asset owner
should make all information available
and ensure access is provided to all
hook up points (via maintenance rooms,
utility rooms, etc.) so that the private
locate contractor can fulfill their role
of protecting the underground assets.
Subsequently, these requirements often
fall to the excavator or to the private
locate contractor to insist on reviewing
drawings, inspecting mechanical rooms
and utility structures, and interviewing
facility personnel about buried utilities.
This arm's length communication often
results in compromised information that
diminishes the private locate contractor's ability to protect the owner's underground assets.
Consequently, private locate contractors are often challenged to sleuth out
the underground private utility network
without any utility drawings, building
access, or asset owner cooperation.
The private locate contractor's client,
often a third-party excavator, may even
ask to 'clear' excavation locations, when
the private locate contractor has no idea
of what may be buried or where the
hook up points are to assist in defining
these underground assets. Challenged
to protect the underground assets of the
asset owner, often without support from
the asset owner, the private locate contractor is contractually bound to a third
party client, and placed in the difficult
position of providing comprehensive
results while being held accountable
for restitution of errors and omissions.
This operating environment has led
to a variety of business practices and
accountabilities for private locate contractors and their clients; very different
than the standardized process controls
and regulations governing the provision
of public locates.

SUMMARY
The public utility locate process is
well established and through industry awareness, commitment and regulations is working better every day in

Ontario at protecting the underground
assets of the public utility owners from
excavation damage. The public utility
locates are paid for and controlled by
these asset owners and the role of their
DPT representative is to protect these
assets. The private locate contractor
is typically challenged to complete
the underground utility locates without the underground asset owner support, enter a contractual relationship
with a third party excavator to prevent
their client from damaging the owners underground assets and deliver
flawless information in order to receive
remuneration for services rendered.
Technical issues aside, these are certainly significant challenges for the private locate contractor.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
John E. Scaife, P.Geo., currently Director of Urban X, has
been involved with the utility
protection industry for over
20 years including provision
of private locates, public locates and
subsurface utility engineering services.
John was elected ORCGA Member of the
Year in 2011 for his work regarding raising awareness of private locates including championing ORCGA adopted private
locates best practices. He currently sits
on the DPT Certification Committee and is
co-chair of the Best Practices Committee.
John would also like to thank Mr. Jeremy
Cook of R&B Construction Services Inc.
for his editorial assistance.
Grant Piraine, C.E.T., DPT, is
the founder of OnSite Locates
Inc. and has been an active
member within the ORCGA
since 2005. Grant was one of
the co-authors of the ORCGA Damage
Prevention Technician (DPT) Training
Manual and is a former DPT Course Trainer.
He has published numerous articles for
the private locate industry including one
of the feature articles "Locating Private
Underground Utilities" in the inaugural
issue of the ORCGA Ear to the Ground
magazine. Grant is currently Chair of the
task team to draft a Private Utility Locate
Best Practice for the ORCGA.
FALL 2017

21



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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