LinesearchbeforeUdig cuts gas pipe location requests from days to minutes

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SGN manages the gas distribution network across Scotland and the South of England, providing gas to over 5.9 million people through 74,000 kilometres of pipes.

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That’s a lot of pipeline vulnerable to damage by excavators lacking accurate information on its location, and providing that information was a slow and labour-intensive process for SGN. It was receiving 2,500 enquiries per month from would-be excavators who were having to wait an average of 15 days for a response.

SGN has now deployed LinesearchbeforeUdig’s (LSBUD) automated plan response software, reducing response times to an average of four minutes. At the same time, the accelerated response has led to many more people using the service: SGN is now receiving more than 40,000 enquiries per month, a 16 fold increase with enquiries coming from utility companies, contractors, councils, consultants, developers and the general public.

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It’s hard to imagine idle curiousity prompting these requests so one can only assume that all these enquirers were digging blind as to the location of SGN’s pipes. Scary!

The LSBUD system also provides SGN with information about the types of projects being undertaken near its pipelines. So if, for example, there are deep excavations planned near a high pressure gas main the relevant SGN officers are made aware of the work and can engage with the excavators at an early stage to provide advice and support on digging safely.

Tamsin Morgan, Project Lead, Safety Manager at SGN, said the use of LDBUD had enabled to company to significantly increase the efficiency of its plant protection service, enabling it to to share safety information and asset maps within minutes instead of days.

“What’s more, significantly more people are accessing this information, which means thousands more individuals and companies are working more safely around our network than before.”

LinesearchbeforeUdig is a joint venture between PelicanCorp and Fisher German LLP, a leading UK firm of chartered surveyors and specialist property consultants.

It is a free to use online search service that any individual can use to check their works against over 60 asset owners’ utility assets that include hundreds of thousands of kilometres of underground and overhead pipes and cables in electricity, gas, high pressure fuel, water and fibre optic networks.

Infrastructure protection news brought to you by PelicanCorp