Unmarked Water Line Severely Damaged


This blog was initially posted in our August 2019 Water industry newsletter.

I. Unmarked Water Line Severely Damaged 

Earlier this summer, a contractor in Fort Lauderdale ruptured a pipe feeding the city’s primary water treatment plant. 

Cuts to the city’s budget over eight years ago had eliminated crews who oversaw maintenance on the pipeline.

The contractor did call for a locate, but the locate requested was for the wrong address.  Missing above-ground markers were unable to warn the excavators of the present utility, as well as alert those charged with fixing the damage to the location of a key buried valve.

II.  Mitigate the Risk and Improve Public Awareness


Damages like the one above are especially frustrating because along with the expensive cost of repairing the damage, you have the annoying hindsight of realizing how avoidable the damage was to begin with.

For construction crews, the person requesting the locate and those arriving on the job site are often two different people in two different places. So when the wrong address was requested for the locate, the crew arrived on site and assumed they were clear to being working.

Had there been highly visible signage marking the buried utilities, it likely would have given the excavators pause before conducting their work.

Signage is not only for alerting excavators, either.  Effective marking can help employees of the utility company easily locate their assets.

In suburban and rural areas, well maintained and highly visible permanent markers can act like your last line of defense.  The most recent DIRT Report shows 25,000 damages caused by facilities that were not located or mis-located.  A permanent marker will reduce that significant risk.

In heavily populated areas where above ground markers are not practical,curb markers (pictured above) will help identify approximate locations of underground assets and alert excavators.


III. Hall of Shame: Marking Failures from Around the World

Yikes … safe to say this marker is pretty dang worthless. We can assume this post was hit by a mower, and probably because he couldn’t see the 2-dimensional profile from the side. We have a couple solutions:


a) To prevent damaged posts like this, use our incredibly durableTriView® marker. It has superior 360º visibility and can withstand repeated impacts.

b) To replace a flat marker like this, you should deploy one of our TriView XL marker posts. It was specifically made to retrofit flat posts and installation takes seconds. 


IV. Must Watch 🎬:  Coolest ❄️ Product Demo You’ll Ever See

The summer heat is starting to get to us.  Anyone else feeling nostalgic for winter? If you don’t miss those glorious days of high windchill and dead car batteries, maybe our TriView impact video on a frozen lake will get you back in the winter spirit!

The Inside Scoop: News from the Rhino Office

Overheard: “They taste like sweat.”  – Tom Preston, Damage Prevention Consultant and office beer snob when describing Coors Light.

On the Road: Interested in being more active in damage prevention? Consider attending the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo next spring in Palm Springs, CA.

You Can’t Make This Up: Serious damages can be caused by excavators, backhoes, horizontal drilling, and … 75-year old ladies.  This story is from 2011 but we couldn’t resist re-sharing it now.