Wherever you live, work or play there are very likely to be pipelines close by: The feeder lines that deliver water and natural gas; buried infrastructure lines containing electricity and internet cables; or long-distance transmission pipelines transporting oil and gas underground to refineries.
For the most part we are unaware of these pipelines as they work silently underground, bringing us the energy and services that fuel our lives. But Canadians have a right to know where pipelines are buried, and there are many different places where this information can be found:
The NEB Interactive Pipeline Map – The National Energy Board (NEB) is the regulator for long-distance transmission lines that cross provincial or international borders. Their interactive map shows all these pipelines, including information on the operators, safety and incidents.
Provincial Regulators – Each province has a regulator, such as the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), responsible for other types of pipelines. Your own provincial regulator may have a map showing pipelines that fall under their jurisdiction.
The About Pipelines Map – The Canadian Energy Pipelines Association (CEPA) is Canada’s association for transmission pipeline companies. They have an interactive map which shows the liquids and natural gas pipelines, as well as above-ground facilities, operated by their members.
Individual Pipeline Companies – The websites of individual pipeline operators also have maps showing where their own infrastructure is located, such as these showing TransCanada’s natural gas pipelines or Enbridge’s oil and gas pipelines.
When a Pipeline Map Isn’t Enough
Even though pipeline maps are readily available, it’s important to realize that they are not detailed enough to provide the precise location of services if you’re planning to dig.
The cost of accidental damage to infrastructure in Canada is estimated to be about $1 billion every year. Much of this damage is caused by people digging or excavating without first requesting that underground infrastructure be marked.
It’s easy to request a locate before digging. The Click Before You Dig website provides links to the provincial One-Call services, where anyone can request a locate free of charge. Infrastructure owners will then come out and clearly mark any services you need to avoid with spade or machinery. It’s free, it’s simple and it’s your responsibility if you will be digging.