When digging always find out first where network cables and pipes are - get reference maps, or have us mark out the locations for you.

Step 1: Get reference maps.

Enter your request on the BeforeUDig website at least two days (preferably longer) before you begin work, and we'll provide free up-to-date reference maps showing underground cable locations. We may be able to provide these maps in less than two days to meet an urgent request, but a charge will apply. For these urgent requests you can also contact us on 0800 10 40 40

We will contact you if any strategic network cables or pipes are shown on the maps you have requested, advise whether onsite advice will be provided and for the appropriate Close Approach Consent to be issued if required.

Step 2: Mark out the service locations.

Use the reference maps to mark out the location of all cables on the worksite before you break ground. Maps are a guide only. Use an electronic cable or pipe locator whenever possible. Northpower can mark out the locations on site for you as part of the cable location service.

Step 3: Hand dig to expose cables and pipes.

Why hand dig? Hand digging is less likely to cause serious damage to cables and pipes. You must dig with caution for your own safety. Any damage to a cable or pipe should be reported to Northpower immediately – call (09) 430 1803 or 0800 10 40 40 (24hr Faults).

AND remember to watch out for services coming off a main.

Cable and pipe depths

Our cables and pipes are laid at different depths in the ground, varying from 600mm to over 1200mm. Alterations to the ground cover may reduce or increase the depths. We cannot guarantee the depth of any cable. Expect a cable or pipe to be at any depth and don't rely on finding buried marker tape when you dig as this may have shifted over time.