Page 9 - Alabama 811 Magazine 2021 Issue 4
P. 9

Alabama’s Underground Damage Prevention legislation has been enacted since 1994. Over the years there have been amendment to strengthen and improve the damage prevention program
in our state. We will focus on some of the key terms and sections to ensure a thorough understanding of the underground damage prevention as outline in Alabama state law.
Excavating practices to avoid damage to underground facilities are outlined within the state statute as basic recommendations.
Alabama Statute 37-15-2 (18): Definition of Noninvasive Method of Excavation: A method of excavation that
does not compromise the integrity of the underground facility. These methods include, but are not limited to, hand digging, pot holing, soft digging, vacuum excavation methods, or other methods approved by the operator.
This section provides basic recommendations for precaution to avoid damage when working around underground facilities within the 18-inch tolerance zone. This is the “safety zone” in relation to the facility marks where noninvasive methods of excavation must be used. Normal mechanized equipment is prohibited within the 18-inch either side of the facility markings.
Alabama Statute 37-15-8: Precaution to Avoid Damage
In addition to the notification requirements of Section 37-15-4, each person responsible for an excavation or demolition operation designated in Section 37-15-3, when performing excavation or demolition within the tolerance zone, shall do all of the following to avoid damage to or minimize interference with the underground facilities:
(1) Determine the location of any marked underground facility utilizing noninvasive methods of excavation. For parallel type excavations, the existing facility shall be exposed at intervals as often as necessary to avoid damages.
(2) Maintain a clearance of at least 18 inches between any underground facility and the cutting edge or point of mechanized equipment.
(3) Provide such support for underground facilities in and near the construction area, including backfill operations, as may be reasonably required by the operator for the protection of the utilities.
(4) Protect and preserve the markings of approximate locations of underground facilities until those markings are no longer required for proper and safe excavation or demolition.
Legislative Corner
2021, Issue 4
Alabama 811 • 7

   7   8   9   10   11