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Before You Dig

Before You Dig logo

Before You Dig Australia (BYDA), formerly Dial Before You Dig (DBYD), is a not-for-profit organisation. BYDA continues to protect Australians and underground infrastructure from harm and damage by providing the free referral service. Lodging an enquiry and knowing what’s below before any excavation or digging project helps prevent damaging underground pipes and cables that distribute essential services, like electricity, gas, communications and water, to our community.

Damaging underground infrastructure with negligent digging or excavating practices will attract penalties, major personal or business expenses, severe injuries, and in the worst-case scenario, death.

The BYD service can assist you in staying safe and following best practices by identifying the owners and location of any underground infrastructure in the vicinity you intend to excavate.

Before You Dig and how the service works

Safety is fundamental to any digging or excavation project. Therefore, using the Before You Dig service should always be your first point of contact before starting any work. When you lodge an enquiry through the BYDA website or the BYDA Android or iPhone apps, a referral will be sent on your behalf to BYDA members with underground assets in the vicinity. You will then access plans and information with any special instructions directly from utilities delivered to your email. Please allow up to two working days to receive all plans before commencing your work.

I’ve lodged an enquiry. What’s next?

Once you submit the enquiry, you can review a list of affected utilities, their contact details and expected wait times to receive plans and information. Plans are indicative only and should be used as a guide. If you require further information or assistance or have not received plans, please contact the asset owners directly using the contact details supplied on the enquiry confirmation sheet. Ensure you DO NOT proceed until you have received the relevant information from all affected asset owners.

Understand your responsibilities

It is an offence to damage pipes or cables, regardless of whether the damage is deliberate, or a person has been negligent. The legislation, however, is not designed to penalise responsible people who do their due diligence and use the Before You Dig service or landowners carrying out everyday activities that do not pose any risk to underground infrastructure. Nor do they stop qualified people lawfully undertaking work on gas pipelines or work on electricity cables.

Final reminders!

  • Safe excavation is not just about getting the plans – you should also ensure you work safely once onsite
  • Be mindful that plans do not show the entire domestic connection
  • Look for clues near underground infrastructure. These may include water meters, inspection points and warning signs
  • Use a Certified Locator to help determine the location of assets
  • Take note of any required permits
  • Be aware of any exclusion zones around assets
  • Always follow the 5Ps of safe excavation!

To lodge an enquiry or to find out more about the service, go to the Before You Dig website.