Please click a link below for more information:
- Legal Stuff
- Public Utility Locates
- Private Locators
- Other Considerations
- Kodiak and Locates
- Common Errors
There are at least four different regulation in Ontario that stipulate that there must be locates before any drilling. The new Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act (commonly called the 1Call Act), among other things, says:
(2) No excavator shall commence an excavation or dig unless,
(a) it has contacted the Corporation to request locates for all underground infrastructure that may be affected by the excavation or dig;
(b) each member that owns or operates underground infrastructure that may be affected by an excavation or dig has properly provided locates for its affected underground infrastructure or has stated in writing that none of its underground infrastructure will be affected by the excavation or dig; and
(c) if locates are properly provided, the excavator has ensured that the locate markings on the ground do not conflict with the written information provided respecting the underground infrastructure. 2012, c. 4, s. 7 (2).
In addition, below is an excerpt from Ontario Regulation 213/91, of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (view up to date regulation at elaws).
228. (1) Before an excavation is begun,
(a) the employer excavating shall ensure that all gas, electrical and other services in and near the area to be excavated are located and marked;
(b) the employer and worker locating and marking the services described in clause (a) shall ensure that they are accurately located and marked; and
(c) if a service may pose a hazard, the service shall be shut off and disconnected. O. Reg. 443/09, s. 6.
More legal stuff:
Electricity Act (Download act in PDF Format*), 1998 – Ontario Regulation 22/04 (Amended to O. Reg. 149/05), Electrical distribution safety:
Proximity to distribution lines:
10. (3) Before digging, boring, trenching, grading, excavating or breaking ground with tools, mechanical equipment or explosives, a contractor, owner or occupant of land, buildings or premises shall, in the interests of safety, ascertain from the distributor responsible for the distribution of electricity to the land, building or premises the location of any underground distribution line that may be interfered with in the course of such activities. O. Reg. 22/04, s. 10 (3).
Even more legal stuff:
Technical Standards and Safety Act (Download act in PDF Format*), 2000, Ontario Regulation 210/01, Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems
Ascertaining pipeline locations
9. (1) No person shall dig, bore, trench, grade, excavate or break ground with mechanical equipment or explosives without first ascertaining from the licence holder the location of any pipeline that may be interfered with. O. Reg. 210/01, s. 9 (1).
(2) The licence holder shall provide as accurate information as possible on the location of any pipeline within a reasonable time in all the circumstances. O. Reg. 210/01, s. 9 (2).
No interference with pipeline
10. No person shall interfere with or damage any pipeline without authority to do so. O. Reg. 210/01, s. 10.
Please note: our lawyer says we have to write here that we are providing this for information only and it should not be construed as providing you with legal advice. There are two key points in the excerpts from all three of the above regulations, as they relate to our projects. 1) Services must be located, and 2) the owner of the utility must locate it. Information in this section of our website will hopefully help us all comply with the legal stuff.
Kodiak policy on locates: No Locates – No Drilling.
Below, is further explanation of what that means and what are Kodiak procedures regarding utility locates. Below are some basic principals of utility locates, while the Locate FAQ section might help you with your specific situation. If you don’t see the answers you need, please contact us by phone or email through our Contact Page.
When we indicate “no locates”, what we actually mean, is “utility locates not 100% complete in a manner consistent with our understanding of laws and regulations and according to industry standard procedures”. When we indicate “No Drilling”, what we actually mean is “No Drilling, No Exceptions”.
Since laws and regulations require locates and Kodiak won’t drill without locates, we have explained below, some basic principals of having good locates:
- For all drilling projects, the Ontario One Call system MUST be contacted and a locate request submitted. This can be undertaken either online http://www.on1call.com or by calling 1-800-400-2255 and submitting your request. Policies and procedures for One Call can be found at their website.
- One-Call only locates utilities owned by member companies, but the new 1Call Act now makes it mandatory for all utility owners to be members. It is very unusual for One-Call related utilities to be located under buildings. Although it is rare for public utilities to extend under buildings, it does happen occasionally. Therefore a locate request to Ontario One Call must be submitted, even if all drilling is taking place indoors. Although they do not normally locate indoors, they should be able to tell you in those rare circumstances when a utility they are responsible for, extends to areas under the building.
- Once you receive the ticket from Ontario One Call, you are responsible for ensuring that each of the utilities listed actually clears the site, or locates their infrastructure. It is not enough to just assume that once you have called, it will all be looked after. Some of the utilities do not always complete the locate within the One Call recommended time frame. If you are having a problem getting locates within the time frame, you are encouraged to make One-Call aware that the utilities are not completing the locates in a timely manner. If the timing problems persist, you could consider a complaint to the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).
- Many people have asked whether it is permissible to have only a private locate contractor locate the utilities and not contact Ontario One Call. This is not appropriate, as it does not fulfil the requirements of the legal stuff we outlined above, specifically the following: “…..(2)The employer who is responsible for the excavation shall request the owner of the service to locate and mark the service. O. Reg. 213/91, s. 228 (2)…..” The key to this statement is “….the owner…”, as the owner of the utility is represented by Ontario One Call. In addition, you are not meeting the requirements of the 1Call Act. Most private locators will not locate utilities owned by the public utility companies, as they are not legally permitted to do so. Again, this is our interpretation of the regulation, and should not be construed as Kodiak providing you with legal advice.
- For most drilling projects, a private utility locate contractor must also be involved. The primary reason for this, is to ensure that the location of privately owned utilities on the site are located. This normally includes the infrastructure beyond the point of public utility ownership. For example, these could include: Bell or gas line beyond the meters/boxes, a hydro line extending from the utility owned transformer to the building or other areas of the site, power lines for parking lots lights or signs, water and sewer lines, fuel lines and tanks at gas station sites, fill and vent lines for tanks and many others.
- Different private locators use various technologies for utility locating. Technologies involving GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) and EM (Electro Magnetics) are generally the best. It is the responsibility of the project consultant to ensure the private locator is using the appropriate technology for the infrastructure being located.
- Because most residential houses and undeveloped vacant sites do not have private utilities, many of these sites will not require a private locator. Exceptions include sites where there is landscape lighting, pools, tv towers, BBQ lines and other infrastructure.
- For all drilling projects undertaken indoors, a private locator must be retained to clear the borehole locations.
- From the legal stuff, remember that the owner of the utility must be requested to mark the location of the utility. Ontario One Call (and other public utility companies in some cases) satisfies the requirement for the public utilities, while the private locator is essentially representing the property owner, as the owner of the private site utilities. The site owner therefore, should be aware that your private locator is representing their interests in this regard.
- We have compiled a list of private locators, found in the Locate Contacts section of the website.
- Utility locates completed through the Ontario One Call system are valid for 30 days (unless otherwise noted). This has practical implications – one utility may undertake their locate one day after receiving the request, and another may take 20 days or more to complete their locate. This means that you may have a small window of time to undertake the drilling after the last locate is complete and before the first one expires. Another consideration is a multi-phase drilling project; if you undertook the locates before drilling, then found out that you had to undertake another phase of drilling, you will likely have to redo your locates, as they have likely expired by the time the second phase of drilling is scheduled.
- Many private locators also have a 30 day expiration date on their locates. If they don’t, you should contact them in order to obtain their policies on locate expiration times.
- For some time MultiView (Mississauga-Ottawa-London) has provided a service that includes both the One Call and the private utility component of a project. Information about MultiView is available on their website at www.multiview.ca or by calling them directly (1-800-363-3116).
- Utility locating is a complex issue; we have provided in the Resources section of the website some other information which can be very useful.
KODIAK AND LOCATES
When we arrive at a drilling site, we are drilling boreholes and monitoring wells at the locations that you have specified for us. Kodiak is in no way responsible for damages related to utilities for drilling in the locations that you have determined. As the project consultant, you are responsible for ensuring that utility locates have been completed properly. That being said, as there are significant safety issues related to the drill crew operating equipment in the vicinity of underground utilities, we reserve the right to review the locates you have completed. This means that all documentation related to utility locates must be available to our field crew.
“No Drilling” means that our crew and/or their supervisor have concluded that locates have not been completed to the satisfaction of our legal and health and safety requirements. We will try to work with you to resolve the issues at the site if possible, to help get the drilling underway. This may involve trying to bring in a private locator or the public utility immediately, or perhaps obtaining clarification of issues over the phone with the locators or utility owners.
As project consultants are responsible for ensuring all locate issues are managed properly, we cannot be responsible for the costs of having a drill crew booked for a project that could not be completed due to utility locate issues. If a project cannot be undertaken due to locate problems, an invoice will be issued for the minimum charge appropriate for that project, which in most cases is 4 hours and 125 km (or the actual mileage to the site if greater than 125km). For out of town or multi-day projects, the minimum charge is normally 8 hours. As these costs are significant for a project where no drilling is undertaken, it is critical that utility locates be undertaken properly. If you have any questions with regards to locates, to help ensure that your project is not impacted by locate issues, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.
- Ontario One Call not contacted,
- A private locator has not cleared borehole locations,
- Locates expired (out of date)
- No documentation of locates available,
- Not all One Call utilities have completed their locates, and
- Site personnel wanting to use as built drawings, in lieu of locates.
It should be noted, that if Kodiak is charged by a regulatory authority for any reason, for drilling at a location specified by the project consultant, the consulting company is responsible for payment of all fines incurred. Fines of approximately $250,000 have been levied in Ontario in the past. In addition, Kodiak will not be responsible for the cost of repair of any infrastructure as a result of a drilling at a location specified by the client/consultant.