Excavation and Trenching Policy

Wintergreen Woods Water Utility Ltd.
Document Ref. No. 98-01

Approved By: Operations Committee – Water Co-op Board           December 31, 1998

1.0 Purpose:

This procedure describes the approved methods for planning and conducting excavation and trenching work associated with Wintergreen Woods Water Utility Ltd. (WWWU) facilities.

2.0 Scope:

The following procedures relate to instances where a contractor is performing work in the vicinity of or tying-in to a WWWU facility OT pipeline on behalf of a landowner and/or performing work in the vicinity of a WWWU facility OT pipeline MI behalf of WWWU.

3.0 Responsibilities:

3.1  Contractor

3.1.1        Contact Alberta One Call (l-800-242-3447) and notify them of the proposed excavation location.

3.1.2        Contact any other company or individual who may have buried pipe or cable in the vicinity of the proposed excavation and request that they locate their pipe, cable or other buried structure.

3.1.3        Provide WWWU with a copy of contractor’s liability insurance and WCB listing

3.1.4        Be aware of the responsibilities related to any problems arising from a tie-in to WWWU pipelines where the work is being performed for a landowner

3.1.5        Contact Operation Committee member from WWWU to obtain instructions.

3.1.6        Participate in pie-job meeting or phone conference with the designated representative of the WWWU and obtain appropriate feedback on the job

3.1.7        Collect and review all pertinent drawings and maps related to WWWU pipelines and conduct visual examination of the site in relation to the drawings and maps from the designated representative.

3.1.8      Ensure, whenever reasonable, a visual inspection of the area is completed prior to the pre-job meeting or telephone conference (except in the case of an emergency), noting details such as fences, power-lines, pipeline warning signs, properly lines and soil conditions.

3.1.9       Ensure all operators, swamp’s and on-site employees are qualified to perform the work required

3.1.10      Provide adequate equipment and training for locating buried facilities (e.g. probes, shovels, etc.)

3.1.11      Be competent to perform the excavation and adequately provide qualified, suitably trained personnel with sufficient experience to safely perform the work with only a minimal degree of supervision in the case of work being performed for WWWU and with no supervision by WWWU in the case of landowner excavation or tie-in to WWWU pipelines.

3.1.12       Ensure that when working in the vicinity of overhead powerlines, the work is carried out in a manner that will not reduce the original support provided for the power poles. Contact the local power company to assist in determining minimal clearances.

3.1.13       Contact the designated representative to discuss options if there is any concern or
indication that the pipe may be of questionable integrity (e.g. leaks, excessive corrosion, unusual frozen ground, unstable soil).

3.1.14      Strip the topsoil and pile it separately before the excavation begins.

3.1.15      Ensure that the backhoe is not operated within 60cm of the pipe until it has been hand exposed and 30cm of the pipe after it has been exposed

3.1.16      Provide adequate access and egress prior to any employees entering the excavation.

3.1.17      Consult Alberta OH&S or local authorities regarding proper back-sloping of the excavation.

3.1.18      Ensure excavations that will be left unattended are adequately fenced or barricaded. Appropriate signs and/or lighting must be provided if the excavation is in an area to which the public has uncontrolled access. For signage and lighting requirements, consult the local authorities.

3.1.19       If the pipeline must be stabilized, proper procedure for cement foundations and backfill material will be discussed with designated representative.

3.1.20       Once the work in the excavation has been completed, ensure the area is adequately
backfilled and the topsoil replaced.

3.2 Designated Representative

3.2.1         Obtain and review all existing drawings and maps and conduct visual examination of the worksite before the work begins

3.2.2         Ensure that affected landowners and Alberta One Call have been notified at least three working days (except in emergencies) prior to work commencing.

3.2.3     Ensure that the pre-job meeting has occurred and any special conditions on the excavation that deviate from this procedure have been noted.

3.2 4      Ensure that the Operation Committee member overseeing the job has been contacted and that the contractor has been qualified for the excavation and any special conditions to the work have been noted.

3.2.5        Provide the contractor with all existing drawings and maps.

3.2.6        Ensure that the proper procedures are being performed by the contractor.

3.3           The Board of WWWU

3.3.1        Provide to the designated representative all existing drawings and maps related to WWWU facilities and pipelines

3.3.2        Ensure that the WWWU members are notified at least three working days (except in emergencies) of any potential interruption of water service.

3.3.3        Ensure the contractor has adequate liability coverage and that they have legitimate WCB coverage.

3.3.4        Ensure that the designated representative performs all functions as outlined above and the Board is informed of any deviation from the procedures and any emergencies.

3.4           Legal Requirements

3.4.1    Legal requirement is the Province of Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act

3.5 Definitions


The company or individual who will perform the excavation or trenching either for the WWWU or for a landowner.


Adequately qualified, suitably trained and with sufficient experience to safely perform work as outlined, without or with only minimal degree of supervision.

Designated Representative

The person assigned by the Board(with the Operation Committee acting on behalf of the Board within their range of responsibilities) who is responsible for planning and leading the work.


Digging away or removing ground cover to expose, verify, repair, modify or construct facilities such that there is ground disturbance.

Ground Disturbance

Any work, operation or activity that results in disturbance of the earth including, without limitation, excavating, digging, trenching, plowing, drilling, tunneling, angering, backfilling, blasting, topsoil stripping, land leveling, clearing and grading.

Hand Expose

The use of hand shovels or other similar implements to expose piping.

Machine Excavation

The use of powered mobile equipment for work that creates a ground disturbance.

The Board

The Board of Directors of the Wintergreen Woods Water Utility Ltd. and their designates being the Operations Committee.

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