When you start up an excavator or a backhoe and begin to dig, do you ever consider the risks? Just beneath our feet are hundreds of thousands of kilometres of pipes and cables, that crisscross the country and provide the essential services that we rely on every single day. This underground infrastructure is a crucial component for the comfort, productivity and safety that we expect in our day-to-day lives: it distributes electricity, natural gas and clean drinking water, as well as cell service and internet – facilitating both electronic communication and financial transactions. Striking a buried utility line can result in inconvenient outages for entire neighbourhoods, and even cause harm to yourself or others. A damaged utility line will require expensive repairs and can result in fines, penalties and litigation.
Canadian Common Ground Alliance
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In the summer of 2007, an excavator working in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland struck a pipeline belonging to Kinder Morgan, causing a geyser of crude oil to shoot 40 feet into the air for about 30 minutes – covering homes and businesses in a Burnaby neighbourhood in pungent black goo.