Safe Digging

Follow a Safe Work Plan

Planning ahead is the first step in making sure your project is successful. Understanding the work area and the location of underground utility lines can save you time, money, and help you avoid a dangerous situation.

It's your responsibility to ensure you are not digging or encroaching on natural gas facilities. Hitting a natural gas line, or creating an obstruction that won’t allow us to quickly access a gas line, can put you and your community at serious risk. 

Approvals for Working Around TransGas Lines and Facilities

To maintain your safety, as well as the safety of our gas lines and facilities, a permit from TransGas is required for projects such as:

  • Any ground disturbance activity (digging or excavation) within 30 metres of a gas line
  • Operating non-agricultural heavy vehicles or equipment over the gas line, or on the right-of-way, where no roadway exists
  • Installing fence posts and developing green spaces
  • Use of explosives (i.e. seismic) in the proximity of the gas line
  • Deep sub-soil, drainage ditches or burying of rock and bush piles
  • Underground cable or electrical crossing of existing gas line
  • Water or oil wells (including drilled, driven or dug) and/or boreholes
  • Access roads 

The activities listed above serve only as a guideline. If you’re unsure about a planned activity, please call our Crossings department at 1-306-777-9666 or contact us online

Getting Started 

1

Mark the Area

Mark your project area with white flags, paint, chalk or surveyors tape on small wooden stakes. By ‘white lining’, you help our Field Technicians know where you intend to work. They will mark all underground gas lines in the area indicated as well as any gas lines close to the work site.

Our Saskatchewan winters make it difficult to see white flags, paint or surveyors tape. Please use black flags, paint or chalk to outline your project site when there is snow.

2

Request a Line Locate

Submit a line locate request three full working days before any ground disturbance work occurs so that underground lines are marked. Line locates are free and no project is too small for a line locate request. 

Information you need to submit a line locate
  • Province, city or town
  • Street address, legal land location or lot and block
  • Type of project work
  • Job start date
  • Attach a sketch of the digging area or use online mapping tools to outline the area as part of the online request
  • If possible, include GPS coordinates to further refine your digging area
It's the law

Whether work is in a yard, town, field, municipality or on a First Nation, you must get a line locate. Under Saskatchewan law, a line locate is necessary if work involves digging or disturbing the soil on a property where a natural gas line exists.

 

3

Review the Record of Locate

Once the line locate is complete you will notice lathes or stakes within the work area. You will also receive a record of locate via email.

The record of locate is valid for 10 business days and:

  • identifies where the natural gas line is in proximity of your proposed work
  • provides a general understanding of how to work around gas lines
  • should be reviewed to ensure the correct work area is shown
  • determines if a site meet with TransGas personnel may be required
4

Get Permission from TransGas to Proceed

Submit a permit request and project plan to TransGas Crossing Co-ordination.

The following information must be included: 

  • The proposed type of work
  • A drawing of where the work will be done in proximity to the TransGas transmission line
  • Land location including: quarter section, township, range and meridian
  • Applicant's name, mailing address, phone number and email
  • Owner's name, mailing address, phone number and email

TransGas will review your request for gas line integrity and safety concerns. Please allow at least 3-5 business days for your request to be processed.

Apply for a Facility Crossing Permit

5

Receive Permit 

We will review your request and, if approved, we will issue you a permit. It will indicate any required conditions as well as contact information for a TransGas representative. Do not begin any work until you receive the permit, have reviewed the conditions and have requested site supervision, if indicated.

Note: A TransGas representative must be on site at all times during construction or excavation within 10 metres of a high-pressure natural gas line right-of-way. Requesting your site supervision two-to-three days in advance of beginning your work will help to make sure that your project can begin on time.

6

Start Working

Once you have received your permit and have and reviewed all the required conditions, and arranged for site supervision (if needed), you may proceed with your work. You will need your permit and your line locate ticket number with you at the work site. 

Tips for Digging Safely
  • Do not assume a gas line runs in a straight line, as ground movement or other construction could alter the location.
  • Using a shovel, dig in layers and make sure your shovel is at a shallow angle.
  • Remove small amounts of dirt at a time until the gas lines are visible. Due to soil changes, gas lines may be more than a metre under the surface or just a few inches below.
  • Be very careful not to damage the protective coating on underground facilities. Although minor damage may not appear to create an issue, a nick to the coating on a steel gas line or a scratch on a gas line can create a serious safety concern.
  • If your project is delayed by more than 10 days, if the line locate stakes or lathes appear out of place, you must request a new line locate.
Daylighting

Daylighting is the process of removing dirt to see the gas line. Larger projects may need hydrovac service, in which high-pressure water and vacuum processes expose the gas line.