One of the problems we often encounter, is misunderstandings related to having ON1Call locates completed for indoor drilling projects. We are facing challenges with locate requirements due to the approach of ON1Call to locate requests that involve drilling inside buildings. The feedback we are getting is that ON1Call is refusing to provide the requisite locates when a request is made that indicates that drilling will be undertaken indoors. We can partly understand the response, as ON1Call needs to make it known to callers that they do not locate privately owned services, which are the predominant utilities normally found indoors. However, we don’t believe that this is fulfilling the regulatory requirements of ON1Call utility members to mark the locations of their infrastructure. Although we are aware that it is rare for member utilities to have infrastructure under buildings, it does occur in some locations. We are not aware of any exemptions within the applicable Acts (and associated Regulations) which specifically exempts one from obtaining locates when the drilling is being undertaken within a building. Discussions with TSSA personnel have suggested that TSSA also interprets the regulations this way.
The problems noted above are leading to very frustrating and costly experiences for Kodiak, our consultant customers, and their property owner clients. We are arriving at sites, prepared to drill, but having to refuse to do the work because the locates are incomplete (i.e., they do not have ON1Call locates). When we are told that ON1Call refuses to do the locates, we are all in a state of paralysis, as we can’t drill without proper locates and consultants can’t obtain them from ON1Call. We are aware that some customers, who are familiar with the issue, are getting around this problem by requesting ON1Call to locate the entire site.
Because of the above noted problems, Kodiak has brought the issue to the attention of Ontario ON1Call. Kodiak concerns were then presented to the Board of Directors of ON1Call, which includes representation from TSSA regulated utility companies. Based on our submission, ON1Call has completed a re-education project of their staff to advise staff that they DO ACCEPT locates for areas on the inside of buildings. Therefore, when calling in for locates, consultants should be able to indicate that their boreholes are inside and still obtain proper locates for their project. ON1Call has asked that if there are any problems with these requests, people should call the Help Desk at 1-866-466-7613 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We commend ON1Call staff for moving quickly to address this issue and hope that the implementation is as smooth as possible.