The second step of a ground disturbance is obtaining a clear picture of the nature and intent of the ground disturbance. We need to determine the ground disturbance area and search area. One must ensure all the required mechanism for performing a search are complete. Anyone proposing to undertake a ground disturbance must take all reasonable precautions necessary to determine whether or not there are buried facilities within the work or search area.
Before we Search the area; we need to determine the ground disturbance area and the search area. An effort must be made to ensure that all the required mechanisms for performing a search are completed.
Typical search, controlled zones and safety zone are:
- 30 metres (100 ft.) on either side of pipelines or their right –of-ways.
- 1 metre (3 ft.) on either side of most facilities.
Note: whether the term search or controlled area is used, the distance one must search can vary and must be determined. Make no mistakes, the search area and the controlled area term are often confused. It is also not uncommon for the terms to be used interchangeably.
The main two reason why we need to search the work area and the control area are;
- If a facility owner is found, to provide notification of the ground disturbance.
- And to find any underground facility owners that exist within these areas.
The following list can be used to ascertain whether or not a facility exists:
As built/drawings, RFI, visible indicators, hand dig, vac-truck, shovel, metal detector, due diligence, land owner, utility, one call, municipal and rural utility. Etc.
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