Home & Outdoor LivingMay 2015Real Estate

Dial before you dig | THE ESSENTIAL FIRST STEP

Hidden underground pipes and cables carry our essential services to households and businesses around the country each and every day.

You do not want to damage this vital underground infrastructure during your next home improvement project. Damage to infrastructure can result in service interruption, large financial penalties, injury and in the worst-case scenario even death. So it is vital that you use the Dial Before You Dig service for every project.

Dial Before You Dig is a free referral service that directs the enquiries of excavators to underground asset owners (such as Telstra and Power and Water). You provide Dial Before You Dig with the details of your planned excavation and they send those details to the affected asset owners. Asset owners will then send you information on the location of pipes and cables, generally by way of plans via email. One thing to note is that these plans do not always pinpoint the exact location of assets, they identify the presence of pipes and cables in the vicinity of your excavation area.

When digging around underground pipes and cables everyone has a Duty of Care to protect Australia’s
vital underground infrastructure. In observing your duty of care, remember:

• Underground network information should be sought well in advance of excavation activities
• It is important that all plans are received and understood before any project commences
• If the scope of works change or plan validity dates expire, you must submit a new Dial Before You Dig enquiry
• Always perform an onsite inspection for the presence of assets. Should you require an onsite location or further assistance from an underground asset owner, contact them directly using the number provided on the plans
• You must dig by hand (potholing) when excavating or working close to underground networks
• If you find any underground pipes and cables by potholing, protect them before excavation begins
• If damage to an underground asset occurs, you must advise the asset owner immediately

Whatever your home renovation project, if it involves digging, you need to use Dial Before You Dig. Visit www.1100.com.au to lodge an enquiry and to access a range of resources to assist you in protecting Australia’s underground infrastructure. These include a Safe Excavation page and Best Practice guides, as well as links to other useful information.

Always Dial Before You Dig and remember the 4 P’s of safe excavation – Plan – Pothole – Protect and only then Proceed.