Virtually all homes and businesses in urban Australian regions are connected. Beyond the obvious internet connection, and until recently for many of us, with phone lines, we are also connected by and to a broad range of services and utilities. There are of course water supplies, electricity cables, gas pipes, drinking water, sewage pipes and services, and more. Many of these we can see where they enter our property, but, beyond the fence line, many of these services lead to intricate underground networks that connect to various hubs, generators, pipelines, power stations, and provider premises.
Often because roads are a precursor to premises being built, many of these power, utility, and communication networks travel alongside the roads, beneath the asphalt, or beneath the pavers that create the walkways that we use every day. Some of the more observant amongst you will have seen and questioned the unusual, often indecipherable markings that can be found immediately above various junction points, which give those who require access, some indication of what is where when it comes to locating or repairing a problem.
It is not always immediately clear exactly what is underground, and to assist construction companies and contractors, the Government operates what is known as Dial Before You Dig Australia.
Dial Before You Dig often referred to simply as ‘DBYD Australia’ is completely free-to-use service that helps prevent damage to infrastructure and injury to individuals by providing detailed information about the services running along the area that they are proposing to carry out work.
We probably all remember the inconvenience caused by high-profile network outages because they personally affect us. Recently there was a fairly high-profile case of internet outage across much of Eastern Melbourne which was caused by construction workers causing fairly serious damage to fiber cables in the Telstra network. The ramifications of such an occurrence are significant, and momentary consideration of the number of people working from home, studying from home, relying on being able to contact emergency services, or simply being inconvenienced by a lack of programs being screened on cable TV. Whilst an internet blackout is limited to inconvenience, imagine if the contractors were to accidentally sever a powerline; the potential for personal injury and death takes the risk of digging into the unknown to a whole new level.
Dial Before You Dig provides the ability for any person or organization to begin excavations safe in the knowledge that they will not be putting themselves or others at risk. As a single point of contact, anyone can use the service to gain access to plans for underground infrastructure in their area. As well as being a means of accessing information for those who require it, and as a safeguard for the wellbeing of your team, it also provides a safeguard against liability. When you damage private or Government-owned infrastructure, you also become responsible for the cost of repairing the service, which dependent on the problem you cause, could be a little, or it could work out very costly indeed.
So, if you are about to start on a project and are uncertain about exactly what is in the ground beneath your feet, get in touch with the Dial Before You Dig service.