People still not calling before they dig

Time and effort spent upfront can spare hassle, danger and expense after the fact

Pick up the phone

Springtime marks the unofficial start of gardening season across British Columbia. It’s also traditionally the time of year when utilities such as FortisBC see a spike in the number of calls to repair damage to their underground natural gas pipes.

According to FortisBC, 99 per cent of the damage to its natural gas system is caused by third parties such as construction crews, contractors and homeowners. Even the smallest damage could require thousands of dollars of repair work and force FortisBC crews to shut down service to other customers in the area.

If you’re the one who caused the damage, you could be on the hook for the entire cost of the repairs.Before you put your shovel into the ground, FortisBC encourages you to call BC One Call at 1-800-474-6886 (or *6886 from a mobile phone) or visit bconecall.bc.ca to get up-to-date information on the location of underground pipes and wires. The service is completely free and could save you money.

“Whether you’re planting a rose bush or installing a new fence, it’s important to call or click before you dig,’” says Ian Turnbull, Damage Prevention and Emergency Services Manager at FortisBC.

The next step is following safe digging practices such as hand digging and avoiding the use of mechanized equipment when working near underground utilities. Turnbull notes that FortisBC has seen a measureable drop in the number of incidents because the public is more aware of the BC One Call service.

“Last year our crews responded to the least amount of third-party damage to our natural gas system compared to previous years,” says Turnbull.

 

FortisBC’s safe digging tips:

 

1. Call BC One Call toll-free at 1-800-474-6886 (or *6886 from any cell phone) at least three business days before you start digging, or open an e-ticket at bconecall.bc.ca. BC One Call will contact its members with underground facilities in the area and you’ll be provided with requested information at no cost.

2.  Have all location information on site and refer to it during any digging.

3. Use the information to locate and mark lines and maintain the markings until digging is underway.

4. HAND DIG FIRST to locate and carefully expose natural gas pipelines, underground electrical wires and other utilities before using mechanical equipment like backhoes or augers.

Just Posted

Free shuttle running at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Parking and main access have been ongoing challenges since KBRH construction began in October

Rossland couple face charges after faking sex to commit petty theft

Couple fakes the dirty to clean out a laundry

Snowfall warning issued for Kootenay passes

Up to 35 cm of snow expected Monday night and Tuesday.

Castlegar wildlife conflicts down in 2018, though problems persist

Official Bear Smart Community status still elusive for city

How long can Castlegar support a repertory cinema?

Cinema owners find audiences with older, obscure movies

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Most Read