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Underground Residential Development

Through the joint utilities trenching process, all underground residential facilities are now placed in one trench rather than two. ENMAX Power Corporation, ATCO Gas, Shaw and TELUS have worked together to provide this service, which now occurs in all new residential subdivisions.

The four utilities have entered in to an agreement with ENMAX Power Services as the four-party project management consultant responsible for carrying out the work for underground joint trenching.

Consider the advantages for utilities and advantages for developers and builders below.

Advantages for utilities, developers and builders

Advantages for developers/builders:

Improved efficiencies

There is no longer a six to eight week wait between when the electrical, cable TV and telephone cables are energized and when the gas lines are connected. This means the home is ready for its new inhabitants that much sooner.

Reduced costs

  • It costs less to dig one trench rather than two. Now, four companies pool their resources to build one trench.
  • Cables and gas lines can be more easily and accurately found.
  • The cost of long term maintenance is reduced due to the reduced risk of accidental damage to other facilities during initial construction and installation (minor initial damages can lead to corrosion, which can result in outages years later).

Advantages for utilities:

Increased safety

A risk assessment study found that it's safer to have one trench rather than two. The risk is reduced of accidentally hitting another line while digging the second trench.

Prior to this new joint construction, the electrical, cable TV and telephone cables went in the first trench and the gas line went in the second trench. Now, the installation of the services is coordinated and completed by a single contractor.

Enhanced development

All the meters and connector boxes are located on one side of the home, rather than on both sides. This means that homeowners can plant trees and shrubs on the other side of their home, creating a more inviting landscape.

Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).