December 2020 Vol. 75 No. 12



CGA Research on Utility Locating Points to Stressed Damage Prevention System 

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) published a new White Paper that is based on recent research among locating stakeholders that points to an often strained damage prevention system. 

The CGA White Paper analyzes data from a survey of more than 400 locate technicians, information gleaned from in-depth interviews with 20 locating managers and industry decision-makers, and damage data from CGA’s 2019 DIRT Report to paint a picture of how the locating industry is working to manage the increasing volume and complexity of tickets. 

The White Paper summarizes the findings of CGA’s recent survey of locate technicians and one-on-one interviews with locating managers and decision-makers and shares four key takeaways that the damage prevention industry can leverage to achieve timely, accurate locates:  

  1. The volume and variability of tickets are huge challenges for the locating industry.
  2. White-lining and updated facility maps may be the damage prevention industry’s most effective paths to timelier and more accurate locates.
  3. Retaining an experienced workforce is likely to produce better safety outcomes.
  4. Reimagining relationships between key stakeholders can dramatically move the industry forward.

“As we see damage root cause groups equalizing in the 2019 DIRT Report, it’s never been more important for us to consider how we can strengthen each part of the damage prevention process,” said Josh Hinrichs of ELM Companies and vice-chair of the CGA Board of Directors. 

Biggest Challenges facing the locating industry. (Source: CGA) 

Flint Water Lawsuit Proposes $642 Million Settlement

A lawsuit filed on behalf of Flint, Mich., residents, who were harmed by lead-tainted water, proposed a settlement that totals about $641 million. 

The lawsuit was the result of workers following state environmental officials’ advice not to use anti-corrosive additives. Without those treatments, water from the Flint River scraped lead from aging pipes and fixtures, contaminating Flint’s tap water.  

“This settlement agreement is just one of the many ways we will continue showing our support for the city and residents of Flint,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “The details of the proposal that have been presented to the judge are an important step forward, and we are committed to helping the residents of Flint participate in this process as we all work together towards the brighter future that Flint deserves.” 

If accepted by the court, the settlement would excuse the state of Michigan, the city of Flint, McLaren and Rowe from pending civil litigation related to the water crisis. Lawsuits would continue against other defendants that did not agree to settle, including the federal government and other consultants who worked with the city on water issues. 

The state’s offer of $600 million was announced in August. 


NASSCO Releases Brochure to Inform Communities About Styrene Safety 

NASSCO has published a new, two-page brochure, “What’s That Odor,” to help inform communities about the safety of styrene used in the steam cure process of Cured-In-Place Pipe (CIPP). 

“It is important that we reassure private property owners and the public in general that CIPP is a proven and minimally disruptive process used to repair or replace our critical sewer infrastructure,” said NASSCO Executive Director Sheila Joy. “Understandably so, the odor produced from styrene sometimes used in the curing process of CIPP can alarm people, so NASSCO’s Health and Safety Committee, Pipe Rehab Committee and CIPP Safety Workgroup have joined forces to produce this informative brochure. 

In addition to online access, NASSCO is encouraging contractors and municipalities to download and print the brochure free-of-charge to educate the public on the value of CIPP and the steps they can take to prevent the odor from entering buildings, answer questions about safety and so much more. “What’s That Odor?” is available on the NASSCO web site: 


Kleinfelder Completes Acquisition of Gas Transmission Systems 

San Diego-based Kleinfelder Group said it has acquired utilities and pipeline services firm Gas Transmission Systems (GTS) for an undisclosed sum. 

“GTS will continue to capitalize on opportunities resulting from significant regulatory drivers,” Kleinfelder said. “Kleinfelder and GTS have several shared portfolio clients, which will lead to synergistic momentum that will drive opportunities for value creation and further establish Kleinfelder as a major player in the energy.” 

The GTS organizational structure will remain unchanged under the direction of President Ben Campbell and will report through West Division Director Victor Auvinen, Kleinfelder said. 

“As a well-established gas utilities and pipeline services firm, GTS is a strong addition to Kleinfelder,” said Kleinfelder President and CEO Louis Armstrong. 


USDA Awards Alaska Utility $22 Million for Fiber Installation 

Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T) has been awarded a $21.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to install fiber optic cable in rural Alaska as part of the agency’s Rural Utility Service’s ReConnect program. 

AP&T will provide over $7 million in matching funds for its SEALink Project, with funds used to construct local networks that will provide high-speed broadband to all premises in Kasaan and Coffman Cove, and to develop and install an estimated 214-mile fiber optic cable between Prince of Wales Island, Petersburg, and Juneau. 

Development will occur over the next five years, with completion planned for 2025. 


Rural Maine Water Systems to Make Upgrades with Federal Help 

The federal government is providing a pair of rural Maine water systems more than $5.7 million to help make improvements. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is giving the city of Gardiner more than $3.5 million and the Livermore Falls Water District $2.2 million. Most of the money is in the form of loans, though Gardiner is receiving a $500,000 grant. 

Gardiner will be able to upgrade a wastewater treatment facility and pump station while the Livermore Falls district will be able to replace outdated water mains, the USDA said. 

The investments “will ensure that users of these two systems have reliable and properly working water and wastewater infrastructure,” USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said. 


Callahan Pipeline Completion Announced in Northeast Florida 

Peninsula Pipeline Company, a Florida subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, along with SeaCoast Gas Transmission, a TECO Peoples Gas affiliate have completed the Callahan Intrastate Pipeline, bringing additional natural gas capacity to Nassau and Duval Counties. 

The Callahan Intrastate Pipeline facilities include a 26.5-mile-long joint natural gas pipeline, which initiates from a gate station that was recently commissioned on the Southern Natural Gas Cypress Interstate Pipeline near Crawford Road in Callahan, Florida to Radio Avenue and Highway 17 in Yulee, Fla. Peninsula Pipeline constructed, partially owns and will fully maintain the pipeline. 

The new supply source will enable both Chesapeake Utilities subsidiary Florida Public Utilities Company (FPUC) and Peoples Gas to expand natural gas distribution service in this growing area of Florida. FPUC and Peoples Gas previously worked together in 2012 to introduce natural gas service to Nassau County. 


Proposals for Pittsburgh Stormwater Management Master Plan Underway 

The City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) plan to release a Request for Proposals to develop a comprehensive stormwater master plan for Pittsburgh. 

Aging infrastructure and the impacts of climate change have created challenges for stormwater management in Pittsburgh. The increasingly frequent and intense rain causes the combined sewer system to overflow into rivers and streams, flood streets, and cause property damage and health concerns when basements back up with raw sewage. 

This stormwater management master plan will provide guidance for the short and long term, by identifying priorities and milestones to implement within the next five years, officials said. It will include a proposed stormwater fee, pending consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other regulatory mandates. It will also include a long-term outlook with milestones for the next 25 years. 


New Plan Will Increase Protection and Resilience of the Texas Coast 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Texas General Land Office (GLO) released the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement in the effort to reduce the risk along the Texas coast from dangerous storm surges and other threats. 

The process will lead to an integrated comprehensive plan for the coast of Texas that includes constructing surge gates to reduce coastal storm damage risks to the Houston Ship Channel, levees along Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island, beach and dune re-nourishment along the lower coast, and nine landscape scale ecosystem restoration projects to increase resilience and reduce risks to the coast of Texas. 


AWWA Releases Second Edition of Polyethylene Pipe Manual 

The American Water Works Association has released the newest edition of M55, PE Pipe – Design and Installation manual. 

The manual provides both technical and general information to help in the design, specification, procurement, installation and understanding of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes and fittings for potable water and wastewater piping systems. 

The M55 second edition includes extensive and significant updates regarding the latest high performing HDPE compounds along with the highest category of oxidation performance, open cut, trenchless and marine installations, external loadings, and soil characteristics. 

The chapter on trenchless installations has been updated to reflect current practices and features the major trenchless methods such as horizontal directional drilling, pipe bursting, sliplining and close-fit lining, the association said. It is available for purchase at 


Common Ground Alliance Reschedules 2021 Conference & Expo 

Common Ground Alliance announced that it has rescheduled the 2021 CGA Conference & Expo for Oct. 12-15, 2021. 

The 2021 CGA Conference & Expo will bring together damage prevention industry decision-makers for a week of collaboration and innovation to address the industry’s most persistent challenges. Programming will include roundtable discussions, presentations, interactive breakout sessions, networking events and a technology-packed Expo floor. For more information, visit: 


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