Page 13 - WV811 2022 issue 4
P. 13

 ht... NOT Out of Mind!
exempt from One Call legislation in many states. These sewer lines are often not made of metal and are difficult
for pipeline installers to locate using traditional methods. As a result, lateral sewer lines have not always been located and marked prior to drilling, which can potentially lead to cross bores being created. Utilities have been making changes in their operating practices since the early 2000s as
they have come to understand this phenomenon.
Attempts to clear sewer blockages caused by cross bores can result in punctures to gas lines and lead to gas leaks into residences and businesses with the potential for explosions.
Industry and policymakers face the dual challenge of preventing new cross bores
and locating latent cross bores. The industry has made significant progress in educating homeowners, plumbers and excavators to call the gas utility
if they experience a blockage in their sewer line before trying to clear the blockage with a cutting tool.
However, many cross bores remain undetected underground for years, in part because little to no problems occur as the result of the cross bore. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of cross bores exist today that remain undetected.
It then becomes a tremendous responsibility for municipality operators and wastewater districts to require before and after camera inspections
of the sewer lines to ensure that their
systems are not compromised. In so doing, they protect the integrity of their systems and the safety of their communities.
Because of the increased infrastructure spending and especially Horizontal Direction Drilling (HDD) construction projects, there will be greater risks damaging existing infrastructure and/ or creating more cross bore incidents, perhaps more than ever before in the next generation.
I wonder if it is time for us to reevaluate our priorities as to why all members need to be a member of our 811 systems and why?
Just a thought!
2022, Issue 4
West Virginia 811 • 11

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