The designer uses all reasonable means of obtaining information about underground facilities in the area of the planned excavation.
During the planning phase of the project, all available information is gathered from facility owners/operators. This includes maps of existing, abandoned, and out-of-service facilities; cathodic protection and grounding systems; as-builts of facilities in the area if the maps are not current; proposed project designs; and schedules of other work in the area. This information is gathered for the purpose of route selection and preliminary neighborhood impacts and as part of the process of impact analysis when evaluating different design possibilities. Methods of gathering information may include contacting entities such as a one call center, facility owners/operators, coordinating committees/councils, other designers, engineering societies, and governmental agencies to help identify underground facility owners/operators in an excavation area. Gathering information also may include a review of the site for aboveground indications of underground facilities (e.g., permanent signs or markers, manhole covers, vent pipes, pad-mounted devices, riser poles, power and communication pedestals, and valve covers). The one call center provides a listing of operators directly to the designer or to the designer’s subsurface utility engineer. This information is made available in formats that are accessible to all users, such as voice, fax, e-mail, or Web site. Once the operators are identified, the designer contacts the operators directly or uses the one call system. The facility owner/operator may locate the underground facilities or provide locations of the underground facilities to the designer by other means, such as by marking up design drawings or providing facility records to the designer.