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Sir Francis Bacon; Smarter than the Average Bear

Yogi bear once said "I'm so smart that it hurts". And I guess a cartoon bear may have been faking it... anything to get into that elusive picnic basket. Sounding smart is one thing - being smart is another.

You're not going to sound like you know what you're talking about unless you are a perfectionist at faking it - and most of us do this in business with the well known phrase "fake it till you make it". Wikipedia's definition is "Fake it 'til you make it" (also called "act as if") is a common catchphrase. The purpose is to avoid getting caught in a self-fulfilling prophecy related to one's fear of not being confident"

And in dealing with business the more you sound like you understand the conversation you are having the different response you will get back. We all have bizarre backgrounds in our quest to find our niche in life and from working as a travel agent and Customer Relations Manager of travel stores I now know when making bookings with airlines or agents as soon as I mention my experience or reply with the full phonetic alphabet the tone changes in the conversation.

So indulge in a little of the common language of Underground Utility Locators for a moment. A little understanding of the lingo can go a long way to understanding the job you need done. Sir Francis Bacon was the first person attributed to the phrase "Knowledge is Power'. It dates back to 1597, so coming forward to present time there is advantages to being able to speak on relative terms with anyone you deal with. Dabble a little, increase some knowledge and welcome to the world of the Utility Locator. Whether it be a broken pipe, blocked pipes, locating underground cables, or just an initial quote over the phone. At least now you will know a little more about the lingo.

Yogi Bear: Boo Boo, you've tried to stop my brilliant ideas with common sense a thousand times. Has it ever worked?

Common sense is not always a given but have an 'edge' and know what your locators is talking about and empower yourself - Underground and understood.

BC – Buried Cable
BJ – Buried Joint (2 or more utilities in the same trench – same as JT)
C – Conduit
CCP – Concrete Cylinder Pipe
CCTV – Closed Circuit Television
CIC – Cable in Conduit
COND – Conduit
CSG – Casing: Protective covering for a pipe or cable, usually made of steel. May also be written as STLCS (Steel Casing).
DB – Direct Buried: A cable which is not in a conduit or duct run.
DE – Dead End, of a utility line
DI – Drain Inlet or Drop Inlet (storm sewer)
DBYD - Dial Before You Dig
GPR – Ground Penetrating Radar: Technology using microwaves penetrating the soil, which can detect even non-conductive utilities under the proper soil conditions.
HDD – Horizontal Directional Drilling – aka Boring or Trenchless Technology. A rapidly growing technology which uses horizontal drilling to bore utility lines under streets and other areas.
HP – High Pressure: Typically a gas transmission line, but the term has been used for distribution mains with a higher pressure than nearby gas mains. Occasionally used in reference to transmission water pipes as well. There is no true standard for what exactly denotes “high pressure”.
ID – Inside Diameter: Pipe measurement. Pipes are referred to by their inside diameter, not their more noticeable outside diameter.
INT – Intersect: A 3 way utility connection, most commonly used in reference to 3-way pipe connections.
INT – Interconnect: A communication line between any two traffic cabinets at different intersections. Interconnects are usually a 6 pair or 12 pair phone service.
PIPES – Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety
PL – Property Line: A point at which any private property meets another private property line, or a public right of way.
PLA – Plastic (Conduit or Pipe)
POLY – Polyethylene: A type of plastic. Usually refers to plastic pipe, but polyethylene is also used as an outer jacket on most modern utility cables. Same as PE.
RCP – Reinforced Concrete Pipe: Concrete pipe reinforced with iron rebar.
SD – Storm Drain
SS – Storm Sewer
STL – Steel
T Tap: A 3-way utility connection, especially a pipe distribution connection to a service or lateral.
WV – Water Valve