How do you permanently mark pipelines and cables under sidewalks and streets?
How do you mark utility cut patches or restorations?
How can we prevent damage to pipelines and cables under pavement?
Protecting your buried cables and pipelines underneath streets and sidewalks can be a challenge. In some cities the use of above ground markers is restricted, making it more difficult to protect facilities and public safety. Sure, everyone is supposed to request a locate before they dig, but the CGA DIRT report always shows that 20-30% of damages are caused by no locate request being made. In Canada it was over 50% in 2017.
On top of that there is always a chance that something did not get located even when a locate request was made. This means that the last lines of defense are surface markers and underground markers/barriers. The price for these markers is very low, especially compared to the costs of a damage and/or injuries.
At Washington Gas they use our A-Tags to identify final paving restorations. According to Scott Brown “We put them in paving cuts, so the municipalities know who did the permanent paving repair, we are so congested with utilities that this helps us reduce the false alarms and field visits.” In addition, these A-Tags provide a permanent warning to excavators that Washington Gas has pipelines in the area making this a win-win situation for both Washington Gas and the excavator.
How can you insure that markers can be easily viewed?
How can I save time and money with utility markers?
When you write specifications for pipeline markers or cable route markers you can protect your buried facilities better if you specify markers with warning messages which can be seen from all directions.
In this application it looks the faculty owner has been very diligent about making their pipeline marker visible, but you can see the evolution. The old style flat fiberglass post was probably installed first, and from the front the warning message and post are visible. It looks like a tech decided it was hard to see the old flat fiberglass post from the die, so they spray painted the metal fence post. In the end they concluded that a triangular shaped Rhino TriView solved all their problems with one post. The moral of the story is to save yourself time & money, and alert excavators that you have a facility in the area no matter where they are standing by starting with a TriView.
How do I prevent my pedestals from being hit by mowers?
How do I find my pedestals when they get overgrown or covered with snow?
How do I prevent damage to my pedestals?
Pedestals can be expensive to repair and damaged pedestals can disrupt customers service. Pedestals and other above ground closures are frequently damaged by mowers, right of way clearing equipment, snow plows, ATVs, snowmobiles, and farmers. When pedestals are damaged and service is disrupted customers often get frustrated or even angry. Although the damage is rarely the carriers fault, sometimes the disruption in service will lead to credits to the customers.
The best way to protect your pedestals is to be sure that all people and equipment in the ROW know where the pedestal is located. When vegetation gets high or snow piles up the best way to prevent damage is to install a high visibility marker behind the pedestal.
There are many types of markers that can be used and Rhino has virtually every style. Bright orange flat Rhino 3-Rail, 4-Rail, or 1-Rail fiberglass posts can be used, but if the equipment or ATV approaches from the side they will likely not see the marker. Our Rhino Domes will also work and be more viable but if you are sliding the marker over the u-channel post supporting the pedestal the dome will force the u-channel away from the pedestal.
Adding a sign to the u-channel post or woods support post can also work. The only down side to this method is that the sign will only be visible from the front. You can use 2, 3, or even 4 signs to make sure the pedestal and warning will be seen, but that is expensive. Plus, we hear plenty of stories of hunters using signs for target practice. We even hear some people say metal signs are stolen for scrap.
The Rhino TriView is triangular which makes it ideal for marking pedestals. It will slide right over a u-channel post and slip right between the pedestal and the metal post. With three sides both the post and your warning message can be seen from any direction. If you have wood support posts we also make a TriView sign that can be nailed to the post providing visibility from both sides. If you are concerned about visibility from the back you can add a second TriView sign to the back side of the wood post.
Of course you have buried cable in the area so be sure to include warning messages reminding excavators to call for a locate before digging. Resist the temptation to use a cheap flag or rod style marker, which we do offer, but don’t recommend because including a warning message is critical to the protection of your buried assets.
In the US include 811 as a part of the warning message, if you belong to the One Call Center, or Click Before You Dig in Canada. If you dont belong to the One Call Center we strongly suggest you do so in order to reduce damages to your cable, and save money. Since every marker you put out is also a small billboard visible to your customers and prospective customers consider including a color version of your company logo to help with branding.
I know of one Telco that had their unmarked pedestals continually hit by snow plows. They finally reached an agreement with the county that if they invested in marking the pedestals so the plow drivers could see them the county would pay for repairs if they hit them. This was a win-win because it saved the Telco money and made the plow drivers job easier, plus it reduced telephone service outages in the county.
Note: The TriVIew shown with a USWest decal was installed in 2008 and the photos was taken in 2018. Not bad for 10 years in Minnesota!