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Thread: Billed for a Damage

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Billed for a Damage

    WASHINGTON (WJLA) A Bowie man is facing a big bill after trying to plant some azaleas. That's because he cut through a utility line - just a few inches below the soil.


    This past summer, Mike Rious, was using small hand tools to plant a few bushes in his front yard when he hit a Verizon FIOS line. The company quickly made the repair. Rious thought that was it - until he received a repair bill for $854.

    "That's ridiculous," said Rious. "I could understand if I had been excavating something. But I'm putting in shrubs."

    Dora Parks, with Miss Utility, says because Rious was digging on his own property without machinery, he was not legally obligated to call 811 to locate utility lines. But he can still be charged by the utility for the repair, which she said is common.

    "The safe thing to do in every instance of disturbance of the ground, by any tool by any means is to call Miss Utility, so the utility companies can get out there and identify those lines," said Parks.

    "If residents are being exposed to this kind of liability for digging in their yards - not major excavation - something's wrong," concluded Rious.

    7 On Your Side called the Verizon contractor that issued the repair bill. We were told there is no law for how deep phone and cable lines need to be buried. We were also told the repair bill had just been cancelled, but no further explanation was given.
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    Default Re: Billed for a Damage

    I know one of our utilities would have sent the bill to the contractor who buried the lines because they have a policy that none of their fiber should be less then 18 inches deep for drops and mainline is 24 inches. Seems pretty stupid to leave fiber so close to the surface, at less then 8 inches a heavy truck driving through the yard when wet could potentially damage it

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Billed for a Damage

    AT&T would have made him pay !
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Billed for a Damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Edward View Post
    I know one of our utilities would have sent the bill to the contractor who buried the lines because they have a policy that none of their fiber should be less then 18 inches deep for drops and mainline is 24 inches. Seems pretty stupid to leave fiber so close to the surface, at less then 8 inches a heavy truck driving through the yard when wet could potentially damage it
    Stupid? Sure but the root of this is cheap. Around this area, which includes Bowie,Maryland, fios drops are put in by hand just barely under the grass. It is common to see these come to the surface by forces like frost heave.

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    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Billed for a Damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Edward View Post
    I know one of our utilities would have sent the bill to the contractor who buried the lines because they have a policy that none of their fiber should be less then 18 inches deep for drops and mainline is 24 inches. Seems pretty stupid to leave fiber so close to the surface, at less then 8 inches a heavy truck driving through the yard when wet could potentially damage it
    I have seen utilities send a bill to the contractor who buried the line, the locate company, and the person who hit the line hoping that one doesn't dispute it and just pays up. I have learned after the fact that more than one party caved and paid the bill giving the phone company a tidy profit.
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    Default Re: Billed for a Damage

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    Stupid? Sure but the root of this is cheap. Around this area, which includes Bowie,Maryland, fios drops are put in by hand just barely under the grass. It is common to see these come to the surface by forces like frost heave.
    I understand them being cheap, but even the manufacturers recommend no less then 12 inches on drops for most fiber out there. I suppose quantity over quality for them big phone companies. My favorite small utility buries all their FTTH in conduit. The other one uses like a little flat 4 strand fiber with a small tracer on the side of it which has proven to be kinda crap after 7 or 8 years in the ground. Do the drops at least locate good being so shallow?

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    Default Re: Billed for a Damage

    Years ago, I heard some rustlings that National Grid gas had buried a gas line only 4 inches deep along a street in Fayetteville, near Syracuse, NY.

    Premier at the time (not yet owned by USIC) was the locator for them. They had a policy in place that any milling jobs shallow enough could be cleared. That promised in the ticket language itself that they were not going any deeper than 4 inches.

    So one such milling job came up, they cleared it because it was only going 4 inches down. For like a mile's worth of road.

    Sure enough, they hit the gas line and it caught the milling machine on fire. National Grid had to buy a brand new milling machine for the town.

    Now, Premier has to locate all milling jobs as if they were going down 20 feet.

    lol

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    Default Re: Billed for a Damage

    GOOD LUCK GETTING YOUR MONEY

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