Damage Prevention & Safety

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation breaks ground on energy infrastructure safety training facility in Florida

When constructed, Safety Town will include specialized learning environments, including simulations for hit line and gas leaks, service hook-ups, underground utility locating, leak detection, corrosion monitoring and more.

Underground fire and power outage in downtown Baltimore snarls commute and closes courthouses

The fire affected underground electrical conduits along North Charles Street and power was shut down in the area to assist in extinguishing the fire, officials said.

Officials respond to pipeline leak releasing unknown amount of gas in Alaska's North Slope

Officials in Alaska are responding to a pipeline leak on the Point Thomson gas field that resulted in a release of a still-unknown amount of liquid natural gas condensate.

Mississippi officials confirm safety of Jackson’s water supply following E. coli alert

Mississippi health officials lifted their health advisory after a new round of test results did not find E. coli in Jackson’s supply. The announcement reverses the Mississippi Department of Health’s instructions on Jan. 11 for Jackson residents to boil their water before consuming it.

No criminal charges to be filed in death of Vermont toddler who fell into underground cistern

No criminal charges will be filed in the death of a 3-year-old boy who fell into an underground cistern and was seriously injured in July while attending a day care program at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont State Police said Tuesday.

Texas hotel explosion injures 21; possible gas leak investigated

An explosion at a historic Texas hotel in Fort Worth on Monday, believed to be caused by a gas leak, blew out windows, littered downtown streets with large sections of debris from the building and injured 21 people, authorities said.

Prostar successfully integrates mobile underground utility mapping software with Rycom Instruments

As a result of this integration, Rycom Instrument’s Pathfinder devices can now capture, record, and share the precise location of buried utilities and pipelines anywhere in the world with PointMan.

Florida house explosion injures 4 and investigators are eyeing gas as the cause, sheriff says

Four people were injured in an explosion early Tuesday that severely damaged a Florida house, authorities said. Investigators were focused on gas as a possible cause.

Cybersecurity agency warns that water utilities are vulnerable to hackers after Pennsylvania attack

Hackers are targeting industrial control systems widely used by water and sewage-treatment utilities, potentially threatening water supplies, the top U.S. cyber defense agency said after a Pennsylvania water authority was hacked.

Sewage spill closes 2-mile stretch of coastline at Southern California’s Laguna Beach

Nearly 95,000 gallons (360,000 liters) of sewage spilled in Laguna Beach on Wednesday, leading to the closure of more than 2 miles (3.2 km) of Southern California coastline to swimmers and surfers, health officials said.

Chemical firms to pay $110 million to Ohio to settle claims over releases of ‘forever chemicals’

The DuPont Co. and two spin-off firms will pay $110 million to the state of Ohio to settle a lawsuit over environmental threats from toxic chemicals used at a former DuPont facility in neighboring West Virginia, the companies said Wednesday.

Four miners die in Poland when pipeline filled with water ruptures deep below ground

Four miners died after a pipeline filled with water burst in a coal mine deep below ground in southern Poland, Polish media reported on Tuesday.

Search underway for Main Pass pipeline leak after 1.1 million gallons of oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

As much as 1.1 million gallons of oil may have been discharged into the Gulf of Mexico from a pipeline system off Louisiana’s southeast coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday. The affected pipeline has been shut down but authorities are still trying to determine the exact location and cause of the leak.

American Augers machine to aid rescue effort for Indian workers trapped in collapsed tunnel

A new drilling machine arrived at the accident site in Uttarakhand state on Saturday to replace one that was damaged while breaking through the rocks and debris. They had been using the drill to create a space to insert wide pipes through which the trapped workers could crawl to their freedom.

Federal authorities investigate underwater oil pipeline leak off the coast of Louisiana

Federal authorities said Saturday that they’re investigating a leak from an underwater oil pipeline off the coast of Louisiana.

New drill bores deeper into tunnel rubble in India to create an escape pipe for 40 trapped workers

Rescuers drilled deeper into the rubble of a collapsed road tunnel in northern India on Friday to fix wide pipes for 40 workers trapped underground for a sixth day to crawl to their freedom.

Work resumes at Montana mine following fatal underground machinery accident

Work has resumed at a precious metals mine in south-central Montana a day after a 24-year-old worker died in an underground machinery accident, mine officials said.

Damage prevention and safety: SUE, vac excavation increase safety and save time

When it comes to underground utilities, safety is paramount. As municipalities grow and various areas undergo advancement and development, the number of buried utilities grows.

USIC launches redesigned website for underground infrastructure damage prevention

The new site design and updated content further the company’s goal of building greater awareness of the essential role it plays in protecting America’s critical underground infrastructure.

CGA’s DIRT report correlates infrastructure investment with increased excavation damage

(UI) — Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, recently announced the findings from its 2022 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT). It revealed concerning increases across key damage indicators.

Charges filed 5 years after underground gas explosion leveled home and injured 3

Attorney General Michelle Henry said Wednesday that the criminal complaint alleges methane gas in an underground storage reservoir owned and operated by Equitrans L.P. migrated upward into a deteriorating company storage well and eventually reached the Greene County home, leading to the blast.

Cleanup is done on a big Kansas oil spill on the Keystone system, the company and EPA say

The operator of the Keystone pipeline system has finished cleaning up a massive December 2022 oil spill, and the creek affected by it is flowing naturally again, the company and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

Innovative solution for managing I&I challenges in sanitary districts

(UI) — A major challenge sanitary districts everywhere face is recurring and growing inflow and infiltration (I&I), from substantial amounts of groundwater and stormwater entering the sewer during periods of heavy rain. This issue is of paramount importance, as heavy rainfall can cause the intrusion of large volumes of groundwater and stormwater into the sewer system, overwhelming pump stations and treatment plants, and even causing costly sewer overflows.

GPRS launches Water & Sewer Damage Awareness Week

(UI) — From Oct. 23–27, GPRS will offer free safety presentations to anyone responsible for water and/or wastewater systems. The firm will also share additional safety information throughout the week on its social media channels.

Inside infrastructure: GIS offers best way to improve underground facility maps

At a time when America is making huge investments in underground infrastructure markets, damage prevention to underground facilities is fundamental and all stakeholders must ensure that their responsibilities are met.

Excavation workers hit gas line in La Pine, Ore., subdivision

(UI) — In La Pine, Oregon, an excavation crew working in a newly developed subdivision had an incident where they accidentally hit a two-inch natural gas line. This led to a gas leak that raised concerns among nearby residents, resulting in advisories to shelter in place and avoid outdoor open flames until the repairs were completed.

Pennsylvania candy company contests OSHA citations following March 2023 natural gas explosion that killed seven

According to R.M. Palmer Co., an NTSB investigation found that natural gas was leaking from a DuPont service tee under a public road less than 2 feet from underground piping that ran between the company’s headquarters and the building that ultimately exploded.

VertiGIS launches underground utilities locator for contractors to prevent asset damage

This innovative solution for underground utilities revolutionizes the way companies handle the demand of 811, Call-Before-You-Dig and One-Call responses with efficiency and accuracy.

Contractor killed in San Francisco trench collapse, prompts investigation

(UI) — A contractor in San Francisco's Lower Haight died on Sept. 28 after a trench beneath a sidewalk collapsed. While five workers managed to escape, one male worker became trapped under eight feet of dirt and debris.

Maui's wildfire tragedy ignites calls for safer electric grids with underground power lines

Lawmakers probing the cause of last month's deadly Maui wildfire did not get many answers during Thursday's congressional hearing on the role the electrical grid played in the disaster.