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How accurate are Dial Before You Dig Plans?


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Don’t get me wrong, DBYD is a good service and I really appreciate them as a Utility Locator. DBYD inquires offer good indications on what to look for on site and can save alot of time, they also offer some level of insurance from utility owners suing whom ever is digging within there service areas, by getting contact and agreement on what is needed to proceed with your project without ending up in court or costly lawsuit, if an service utility asset is accidentally damaged.

However there are many misconceptions with DBYD inquires and the information they provide. In some cases the utility owners (Telstra, SydneyWater et.) will say ‘There are no services in your area’, but with further inspection from a utility locator, they find one or more services from that utility asset owner.

A few Misconceptions of Dial Before You Dig Maps.

-All Utility Service Assets are provided when lodging a DBYD inquiry?

False, DBYD maps only show whats documented, and some of the time (especially on private property) they are not documented and will not give any indication of all services on most sites.

DBYD maps are usually correct in what is documented?

False, In my experience alot of the time the maps provided are out of date or haven’t been documented correctly. Some of the time the maps could have missing information, wrong locations and wrong materials of services. Survey maps that have done potholing are usually fairly good. However all maps are QLD, the lowest form of quality of subsurface utility information.

Here are some great videos explaining some of the challenges utility locators go through on a daily basis.

Big thanks to Geelong Cable Locations, and Ben Minutoli: https://geelongcablelocations.com.au/

He is a champion in the industry of utility locating in Australia and is doing a great job with his videos, sharing the problems of everyday locators to help clients understand the importance of utility locators, and to advance the industry into a better place. Thank mate.

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