beforeUdig

  • PEL822 The leak revealing sounds of water

    What if you could listen to the sounds of water flowing through underground pipes to detect leaks and transient pressure surges that can stress pipes, eventually causing fractures?

  • PEL803 How about Google Earth for the Underworld

    Google Earth is a wonderful thing. Open the app, type in the name of any location, the world will turn to that location and you can zoom in every closer, seamlessly transitioning at some point from a satellite image to a Google Street View image.

  • PEL802 Dig up your front yard virtually

    The mission of the US Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a member-driven association of 1,700 individuals, organisations and sponsors drawn from every facet of the underground utility industry, is to prevent damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices.

  • PEL801 Pipe lining the smart thing to do

    The Water Services Association of Australia has welcomed $3m of government funding for research into the smart lining of pipes saying it has the potential to reduce the disruption caused by replacing buried pipes, and could earn export dollars for Australia.

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    Ipswich Council in Queensland has an ambitious plan: to create what it describes a five dimension data model of the city that will take a 3D model of city infrastructure above and below ground and combine that with dimensions of other data and time.

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    On 4 April 2016 in the Upper Hutt District of New Zealand found that, contracters were working to remove contaminated topsoil from the site of a new residential property development.

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    In the US utilities that own buried infrastructure are required to precisely locate and mark the location of their infrastructure in response to requests lodged through Call 811, the equivalent of Australia’s Dial Before You Dig service.

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    Interviewed by American Locator magazine for its June 2017 edition, PelicanCorp CEO Duane Rodgers made the point that ‘Dial Before You Dig’ is becoming something of a misnomer in this age of the Internet and smartphones.

  • PEL744 Eye in the sky to detect diggers who fail to dial

    It’s nigh on impossible to catch people digging up the ground who have failed to call Dial Before You Dig and verify the location of buried infrastructure, unless of course they dig into that buried infrastructure and deprive someone of power, gas, water or telecommunications. Or worse.

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    A few weeks ago we looked at the impact of digital transformation on utilities, noting that Australian Utility Week — to be held 29-30 November in Melbourne — would have a strong focus on digital transformation.

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    The havoc wreaked by hurricanes Harvey and Irma on the islands of the Caribbean and the southern states of the USA created no end of heart-rending new stories and graphic images of devastation.

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    The latest promotional email for Australian Utility Week — to be held 29-30 November in Melbourne — has a strong focus on digital transformation. It warns: “The digital transformation roadmap is fraught with challenges,” and promises that the event will “help you with your digital transformation journey.”

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    Systems like Dial Before Dig are well-established in Canada but except in Ontario, there is no legislation requiring them to be used. That could change, thanks to legislation now before Parliament.

  • PEL740 More than a pipeline a piece of critical infrastructure

    We had planned last week to take a look a the question of critical infrastructure when that topic became front and centre for New Zealanders thanks to an unknown excavator damaging a pipeline carrying aviation fuel to Auckland Airport.

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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.

  • PEL735 Digging the DIRT on damage prevention internationally

    For 14 years the US Common Ground Alliance has been gathering data on damage to underground infrastructure — and near misses — caused by excavation activities.

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    It’s an endlessly repeated statistic, but needs to be said and said again until it ceases to be true: Every six minutes in the US an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

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    American Locator is a magazine dedicated to the protection of underground infrastructure. It “gets to the heart of recent news, updates, technology and processes focusing on damage prevention in the underground utility industry”. Heading up the June 2017 issue was a lengthy interview with PelicanCorp CEO, Duane Rodgers. Here’s a summary of what Duane had to say.

  • PEL727 Dig this The excavator of the future

    Technology never stands still. The Internet is only about 20 years old. Mobile phones only about 40, and smartphones with their plethora of applications only 10 years old.

  • PEL720 Augmented reality already a reality for utilities

    In February 2017 the Economist magazine ran an article entitled The promise of augmented reality, saying:

    “If companies ranging from giants like Microsoft and Google to newcomers like Magic Leap and Meta have their way, the next thing to leap from fiction to fact will be augmented reality (AR).”

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    Ruptures of underground gas pipes in Australia are fortunately rare and those with pyrotechnic consequences rarer still.

  • PEL723 April is National Safe Digging Month

    The US has a very vibrant community dedicated to protecting underground infrastructure from excavation damage and the highlight of its awareness raising activities in National Safe Digging Month, held each year in April, when the Call 811 organisations in each state — the equivalent of Australia’s Dial Before You Dig bodies — get together with sponsorship from infrastructure owning organisations and others to stage a wide range of community events across the country.

  • PEL714 New York contractor slapped with record US85K fine for one call breaches

    The New York State Public Service Commission last month issued its largest-ever penalty, $US85,000, against an excavator for violating safe digging rules.

  • PEL710 Joint Australia NZ research project to improve GPS accuracy

    Position fixing could become much more precise than the several metres accuracy provided by the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites if a two year trial of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) being undertaken with the backing of the Australian and New Zealand Governments proves successful.

  • Pel709 Australian bodys ambitious digital earth plans

    In 1998 Al Gore, then US vice president, described his vision for a digital earth, a 3D virtual representation of the earth that would provide access to vast amounts of information to help people understand the earth and its natural and human phenomena.

  • PEL708a Oroville Dam a disaster waiting to happen

    With a height of 234.7 metres California’s Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the US and the body of water it holds back, Lake Oroville is the second largest man-made lake in California. It serves three functions: water supply, hydroelectricity generation and flood control. It’s estimated that the floods it prevented between 1987 and 1999 avoid a damage bill that would have topped $US1.3 billion.

  • PEL705 Sydney to host global spatial conference

    In April, Sydney will host what the organisers claim will be “one of the biggest spatial events in history” when the Locate Conference and the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) Symposium join forces for a joint event being held 3-6 April 2017at the new International Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

  • PEL704 The poetry of dangerous digging

    It’s been a while – three years in fact - since we looked at Digging Dangers – the annual video produced in the US to highlight the often spectacularly disastrous consequences of excavating without full information on all buried infrastructure.

  • PEL703a Telstra cracks down on unqualified cable locators

    Australia’s largest telco, Telstra, is cracking down on organisations that use staff without proper accreditation to locate its underground cables prior to excavating.

  • PEL651 Of swallets cenotes and dolines

    Do you know what a cenote is? Or a swallet? Ever heard of a doline? I hadn’t, but I’m certainly familiar with the phenomenon to which all refer, as I’m sure you are.