Assumption # 3: Assuming There Are No Utilities in the Area You Are Working In
These 3 reasons should help you avoid making this assumption!
1. Beware of the open lot that’s up for redevelopment. Your new project site may be nicely leveled and pleasantly landscaped but it might once have been the site of a factory, a gas production facility, or any number of other commercial operations.
The problem is when the excavator hits something you weren’t expecting to be there. If it’s a live utility that gets ruptured or cut, it’s a really big problem.
2. Parking lots are not as innocent as they look. We often hear statements like, “It’s a parking lot, what could possibly be there?”
Well, a parking lot is actually the perfect place to run a bunch of pipes and cables under.
If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense to put utilities under a parking lot. This is because they are very accessible spaces, with few obstructions (such as buildings) to get in the way when excavating the trenches needed to lay utilities.
3. Subdivisions can pose illogical problems. An industrial park or office complex created from what was once an old manufacturing facility can conceal hidden and unexpected dangers. The physical character and appearance of a redeveloped site can be totally different from what it once was.
The problem with this is that the underground utilities get adapted and modified and re-routed to serve the new needs - and as a consequence, they may not be where you would expect to find them.