We dig it

Apr 2, 2019

April is designated Safe Digging Month in Canada and the United States; however safe digging is important all year.

Beneath Kelowna’s landscape lies an extensive infrastructure of pipes and cables that residents depend on for communication, electricity, gas supply, water, sewer and storm water management. The pipelines for gas distribution and supply in Kelowna are estimated to span more than 985 km within the city, the same as the distance from Kelowna to Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.

“FortisBC’s natural gas system, delivers vital energy to homes, businesses, schools and hospitals every day. This April we are teaming up with the City of Kelowna to protect our underground infrastructure and remind anyone breaking ground to click or call BC One Call first and to follow closely the instructions and directions you receive from us,” said Ian Turnbull, FortisBC Damage Prevention and Emergency Services Manager. 

Over the past year, natural gas line damages in the community of Kelowna have increased along with other communities where construction activity has been significant. Kelowna ranks third in the province for the highest damages behind Vancouver and Surrey.

Every year damage to underground utilities costs taxpayer’s money, diverts first responder resources and causes service outages – and the majority of incidents are preventable. Last year in BC there was more than 1,200 hit gas lines.

“Requesting location information, even only three days prior to starting a project, will notify all member companies that have buried utilities in your dig area and allow you to create a safe plan for where and how to dig,” said Sarah Josefson, City of Kelowna Safety Advisor. 

Whether you are digging in the yard, building a fence or excavating a job site, National Dig Safe Month is a way to remind us all to click or call before starting any digging project.

“Once you get your BC One Call ticket, the final and perhaps most important step is to follow closely the information you receive,” said Turnbull. “Use the information we provide you to mark the location of gas lines on your site and dig by hand first to expose the gas line if you are working in this area.” 

Click bconecall.ca or call 1-800-474-6886 before you start your projects this spring. You can also learn more at fortisbc.com/digsafe.

 

Media contact

For more information, contact:

Sarah Josefson
Safety Advisor
City of Kelowna

250-469-8538

FortisBC media contact
Diana Sorace
Corporate Communications Advisor 
FortisBC Energy Inc.
diana.sorace@fortisbc.com
fortisbc.com
24-hour media line: 1-855-322-6397

Communications
1435 Water Street
Kelowna, BC  V1Y 1J4
TEL 250-469-8663