Contractors installing underground facilities notify the facility owner/operator if the actual placement is different from expected placement.
For a facility owner/operator to maintain accurate records of the location of their facilities, it is critical that the contractor installing the new facility be required to notify the facility owner/operator of deviations to the planned installation. Some facility owners/operators do not require a full-time inspector and use a sampling process to ensure that a new facility is correctly installed in compliance to specifications. When this occurs, it becomes much more critical for the contractor to notify the facility owner/operator of changes. For example, it is common for the contractor to make adjustments in the location of the new facility when rocks or other underground obstructions are encountered or when the location of the new facility conflicts with another existing underground facility. This change in plan can represent changes in horizontal or vertical distances from the specified plans. The facility owner/operator establishes standards that require notification if a deviation is beyond specified tolerances, such as changes in depth of 6 in. or more and lateral measurement changes of greater than 1 ft. When these changes to the expected location are communicated to the facility owner/operator, it is the owner/operator’s responsibility to take appropriate action to update their records so that an accurate locate can be conducted in the future.