Underground asset location advice from an expert

pel624 underground asset location advice from an expert

The Institute of Public Works, Engineering Australia, has a really useful article on its website, full of advice from a veteran locator of underground assets. Ben Minutoli, a director of Geelong Cable Locations, has been in the business for almost 20 years and is on the National Utility Locating Contractors Association committee.

PelicanCorp streamlines Shoalhaven Water’s DBYD responses

pel619 pelicancorp streamlines shoalhaven water s dbyd responses

Shoalhaven Water -- part of Shoalhaven City Council -- provides water and sewerage services to more than 100,000 customers over an area of 4531 square kilometres on the NSW South Coast. When it joined the Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) service it knew the number of enquiries for the location of its underground infrastructure would rise significantly from the average of 100 per month that it was receiving directly and processing manually.

Call 811 awareness raising

pel622 call 811 awareness raising

The US’ Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an organisation created to prevent damage to underground infrastructure, works very hard to promote use of the Call 811 service, the equivalent of Australia’s Dial Before You Dig 1100 number, and with good reason.

Unitywater wins annual Dial Before You Dig award

pel620 unitywater wins annual dial before you dig award

Unitywater, the company that provides water supply and sewerage services to residential and business customers on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, has won an award for its performance in responding to Dial Before You Dig enquiries, thanks in no small part to PelicanCorp’s TicketAccess solution for automating responses to DBYD enquiries.

The real cost of gas pipeline safety features

pel616 the real cost of gas pipeline safety features

The US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in March issued a {cslimited}proposed set of new regulations{/cslimited} or natural gas pipelines. Reporting the move Associated Press described it as “a belated response to numerous fiery accidents, including a 2010 California explosion that killed eight people and injured more than 50.”

DBYD beats meditation any day

pel617 dbyd beats meditation any day

“Concerns over damage caused by FTTH,” said the headline. “Underground infrastructure is being compromised by the deployment of fibre-optic cables,” it explained.

PelicanCorp gives Black Hills Energy exec a red letter day

Duane Nathan winnerCGA2016

March 10 2016 was a red letter day for Black Hills Energy’s Nebraska based State Compliance Specialist, Nathan Stewart: it was the day he won PelicanCorp’s prize draw at the Common Ground Alliance’s annual 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo, held this year in Las Vegas.

A big year for trenchless technology in Asia

pel614 a big year for trenchless technology in asia

Trenchless technology is a really useful technique for installing underground infrastructure such as cables and small diameter pipes. It avoids having to dig long trenches to install infrastructure with all the attendant risks of damaging that infrastructure.

Australian Government makes spatial data free

pel612 australian government makes spatial data free

26 February was a significant day for many organisations and individuals working in a wide range of Australian industries. It was the day that the Australian Government made the Geo-coded National Address File (G-NAF) and Administrative Boundaries datasets available at no cost to end users.

Locate16 conference and expo coming

pel613 locate16 conference and expo coming in april

PelicanCorp will exhibit at Locate16, a conference and exhibition billed as Australia and New Zealand’s leading spatial event, to be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from 12 to 14 April.

The mystery cause of damage to underground infrastructure

pel611 the mystery cause of damage to underground infrastructure

It might come as something of a surprise but, in the US at least, the main cause of damage to underground infrastructure is not failure to call the local equivalent of Australia’s Dial Before You Dig service. Nor is it failure to properly locate the underground infrastructure. In fact, half of all incidents of damage occur after both those processes have been followed correctly.

How the Common Ground Alliance came to be

pel610 how the common ground alliance came to be

March is once again the time for the US Common Ground Alliance’s annual conference and exhibition. It’s being held this year in Las Vegas from March 8 to 10 and PelicanCorp will once again be exhibiting, along with over 220 other companies.

To pinpoint underground infrastructure – take to the air

pel609 to pinpoint underground infrastructure take to the air

According to the web site of US company Geospatial Corporation, the US Geological Survey (USGS) predicts that sensors on unmanned aerial systems — drones to you and I — will greatly improve the inspection of complex infrastructure, including underground infrastructure.

Should these people have been allowed to dig?


There has been yet another highly destructive fire in the US following contractors rupturing an underground gas line. Fortunately this time no one was seriously injured but a historic building, in Omaha Nebraska, was damaged – probably beyond repair, businesses were shut down and people left homeless.

Ditch Witch inventor remembered

pel605 ditch witch inventor remembered

In the 1940s the installation of residential utility services—electric, gas and plumbing lines — required slow, tedious, pick-and-shovel labour. In the small town of Perry, Oklahoma, Carl Malzahn and his son Ed ran a small machine shop specialising in repairing mechanical equipment for the region’s oil extraction industry.

One gas line, one contractor, two ruptures: one death

pel549 one gas line one contractor two ruptures one death
There’s an old saying “lightning never strikes twice.” A quick Google search will reveal that it's a myth: the forces of nature are random. People digging up the earth are not. There supposed to make sure they are not going to hit any buried pipes or cables. So how do you account for a contractor hitting the same pipeline in the same area twice, the second time with disastrous consequences?

Cat videos to dig for

pel548 cat videos to dig for
Our feline friends are internet superstars: cat videos are some of the most popular on YouTube and there’s even The Internet Cat Video Festival, a national competition in the US that celebrates cat videos on the internet. Bigger, mechanical cats — Caterpillar excavators and others — also have their niche on YouTube, but it’s not necessarily something to brag about.

Digging dangers up above

pel546 digging dangers up above
We’ve talked often about the dangers that can be encountered when digging holes in the ground; about the importance of calling Dial Before You Dig to make sure you don’t hit a pipe or a cable; about the importance of shoring up trenches to prevent collapse; but excavating equipment can also cause just as many problems up above, as two recent incidents in Australia demonstrate.