The simplest way to avoid damage to underground cables is to find out where the cables are before any digging or excavation takes place.
To request plans of Telstra's underground network at a specific site contact Dial Before You Dig.
In addition to Telstra plans, you may receive plans relating to other underground networks relevant to your proposed excavation site.
Once you have your plans, further information, assistance or questions about your location plan or the area you need to dig in, can be directed to Telstra on the phone number which accompanies your Telstra Plan.
Once you have obtained a cable location plan showing underground cables the next step is interpreting and understanding the plan.
Using the information here as a guide for reading Telstra plans, cable plans can be easily understood.
Essential Precautions and Approach Distances
NOTE: If the following clearances cannot be maintained, please contact the Network Integrity Help Desk on 1800 653 935 (7.00am - 7.00pm EST) for advice on how best to resolve this situation.
The following information is provided to assist designers and constructors seeking to confirm the location of underground cables as part of design and again preparatory to commencing excavation works.
It is important to bear in mind that the levels of roads, footways and general ground surfaces are often altered as part of renewal, upgrading and development works carried out subsequent to installation of underground services. As a consequence, depth of cables can be substantially more or less than the original installation depth and need to be confirmed by hand excavation (potholing) on site.
Telstra’s cable plans may show depths at the time of construction – they are NOT necessarily adjusted to reflect any subsequent changes to surface levels.
1. On receipt of plans and sketches and before commencing excavation work or similar activities near Telstra's plant, carefully locate this plant first to avoid damage. Undertake prior manual exposure such as potholing when intending to excavate or work closer to Telstra plant than the following approach distances.
Where Telstra's plant is in an area where road and footpaths are well defined by kerbs or other features a minimum clear distance of 600mm must be maintained from where it could be reasonably presumed that plant would reside.
In non established or unformed reserves and terrain, this approach distance must be at least 1.5 metres.
In country/rural areas which may have wider variations in reasonably presumed plant presence, the following minimum approach distances apply:
a) Parallel to major plant: 10 metres (for IEN, optic fibre and copper cable over 300 pairs)
b) Parallel to other plant: 5 metres
Note: Even manual pot-holing needs to be undertaken with extreme care, commonsense and employing techniques least likely to damage cables. For example, orientate shovel blades and trowels parallel to the cable rather than digging across the cable.
If construction work is parallel to Telstra plant, then careful hand digging (pot-holing) at least every 5m is required to establish the location of all plant, hence confirming nominal locations before work can commence.
2. Maintain the following minimum clearance between construction activity and actual location of Telstra Plant.
|Jackhammers / pneumatic breakers||Not within 1.0m of actual location|
|Vibrating plate of Wacker Packer compactor||Not within 0.5m of Telstra ducts. 300mm compact clearance cover before compactor can be used across Telstra ducts|
|Boring equipment (in-line, horizontal and vertical)||Not within 2.0m of actual location. Constructors to hand dig (pothole) and expose plant|
|Heavy vehicle traffic (over 3 tonnes)||Not to be driven across Telstra ducts (or plant) with less than 600mm cover. Constructor to check depth via hand digging.|
|Mechanical Excavators, Boring and Tree Removal||Not within 1.0m of actual location. Constructor to hand dig (pothole) and expose plant|
All Telstra pits and manholes should be a minimum of 1.2m in from the back of kerb after the completion of your work.
All Telstra conduit should have the following minimum depth of cover after the completion of your work:
Roadway 450mm at drain invert and 600mm at road centre crown