Damage—Any impact or exposure that results in the need to repair an underground facility due to a weakening or the partial or complete destruction of the facility, including, but not limited to, the protective coating, lateral support, cathodic protection, or housing for the line, device, or facility. There does not need to be a release of product.
DIRT—Damage Information Reporting Tool.
Downtime—Time that an excavator must delay an excavation project due to failure of one or more stakeholders to comply with applicable damage prevention regulations or best practices. There may or may not be a damage associated with the downtime.
Event—The occurrence of facility damage, near miss, or downtime.
Facility Affected—The type of facility that is involved in a damage event: distribution, service/drop, transmission, or gathering.
Facility Damaged—The facility operation that is affected by a damage event: cable TV, electric, natural gas, sewer, water, etc.
Known Data—DIRT data, excluding unknown data. Unknown data depends on the DIRT field but usually is denoted as “unknown” or “unknown/other.”
Near Miss—An event where damage did not occur but clear potential for damage was identified.
Pothole—(a.k.a. Test Hole): Exposure of a facility by safe excavation practices used to ascertain the precise horizontal and vertical position of underground lines or facilities. Accepted safe excavation practices vary by state/local jurisdiction, but the preferred techniques include hand digging with extreme caution and/or vacuum excavation. (See Best Practice 5-32).
Root Cause—The primary reason that the event occurred. For purposes of DIRT, the point where a change in behavior would reasonably be expected to lead to a change in the outcome, i.e., avoidance of the event.
Tolerance Zone—The space in which a line or facility is located and in which special care is to be taken.
Transmissions—The number of initial notices of intent to excavate sent by one call centers to their member facility operators, including those sent directly to locating vendors on behalf of members. Each incoming notice of intent to excavate generates outgoing transmissions to several members, such as electric, gas, cable TV, water, sewer, telecommunications, etc.
Unique Events—The number of events after identifying and consolidating multiple reports of the same event. Unless otherwise noted, this is the number used in annual DIRT reports and on the online interactive dashboard.