Positive Response is Beneficial, but why?

Picture of DPC of TExas

DPC of TExas

Efficiency, communication and status. These three words encapsulate the benefits of utilizing Positive Response in the one call industry. Chapter 18 is the Texas Administrative Code that the Railroad Commission of Texas is charged to enforce. Operators of underground pipelines fall within their jurisdiction and are subject to Section 18.5, which requires a positive response to the notification by marking or notifying the excavator that the location is “all clear” or has “no conflict”.  Chapter 251 of the Texas Utilities Code also provides guidance to all Class A Facilities to either mark the lines within time frame prescribed, mark the lines at a time agreed upon by the operator and the excavator, or the operator shall notify the excavator of their intention not to mark the location within the prescribed time by fax, email or other electronic methods approved by the One Call Board.

But what about the excavator? What if this is their first time using the 811 system? By using the Positive Response system, all facility operators can communicate the status or completion of a locate request. Efficiency can be realized in several ways:

  • Location of work is a safe distance away, which may not require onsite markings and thus reduce labor and travel expenses
  • A secondary notice or a recall is issued, but it does not impact your underground facilities
  • Mitigate additional locate requests (such as a no response) with concise and timely responses
  • Excavators may check the Positive Response status as an indication of when they can begin work (saves them from visiting the job site for visual confirmation of markings-or lack thereof)
  • Providing Positive Responses may condition excavators to check their responses prior to issuing any subsequent locate requests, thus reducing waste and unnecessary expenses

Ultimately Positive Response communicates the status of the locate request to the excavator. Think back to a time not too long ago when you went to mail a letter or even a parcel. Back then, the expectations were limited to placing the letter or package in the outgoing mail, waiting a few days and hoping it was received. Fast forward to today and we have sophisticated tracking systems that allow the customer to see where it is, when it’s expected to arrive, events affecting delivery, and closure of when it has been delivered. Let’s thrust the industry beyond the days of snail mail and complete the communication loop that excavators deserve in this day in age.

Scott Sasajima

Director of Operations