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June 2017 CGA Newsletter
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The June 2017 CGA newsletter is now available, read it here.

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By Whitney Nichols
Home ‘Excavation Safety Day’ combines area emergency personnel
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Similar to Colorado utility locate services, this demonstration showed off why it is so important to always call 811. 

First responders and utility, oil and gas and Kerr County personnel joined together June 15 for the “Hill Country Excavation Day” and took part in dynamic hands-on scenario safety training. A key point throughout the training was use of the State of Texas’ nonprofit service to “call 811 before you dig to get underground utilities located for free.”

This event was open to the public, and some participating adults brought their children to see the events.

A demonstration was provided by Kerrville Public Utility Board personnel in a highly visible “arc and spark” event, to highlight the dangers of working around live electricity, downed power lines and other dangerous situations.

The KPUB presentation included information that crew members are supposed to wear a hardhat, a high-visibility vest, safety glasses, steel-toed or sturdy workboots, earplugs and gloves. Flame-resistant long-sleeved shirts also were stressed; and combining all that means it’s always hot work. Professionals aren’t allowed to dress for the hot weather and work in sleeveless t-shirts and no protection anymore.

The KPUB demonstration included hitting a series of objects with live electricity to show how easily almost anything will conduct electricity.

They started with a live wire, and progressed to a section of cyclone fence, an aluminum ladder, a hot dog to mimic the water content of a human body, a piece of cotton t-shirt and part of a tree limb. All allowed arcs of electricity to flash between the source and through the common objects.

Read the full article here: ‘Excavation Safety Day’ combines area emergency personnel http://bit.ly/2sAeiNw

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By Harriet
Colorado’s bears are awake. Here’s how to keep yourself — and them — safe
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If you are planning a weekend digging project of course, call utility location services (811), but if you plan to go up into the mountains, you might want to read this first! 

Whether they are raiding apartments in Vail, trashing cars in Aspen or Steamboat Springs, or disrupting foot races in Boulder or Colorado Springs, Colorado bears are out in full force. The weather is warming up and as the rising human population encroaches into bear territory, interactions between humans and bruins are becoming increasingly common.

But there are things you can do to reduce potential conflict. Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill offered some of the best ways to keep you, your belongings and the bears safe, whether you live in bear country or you’re just visiting during the summer months.

Camping/hiking in bear country

  • If a campground provides bear boxes to stow your food and other items, like toothpaste, that smell delicious to bears, the likelihood of a bear showing up to search for a food reward in pretty high. “There are bear boxes at campsites,” Churchill said. “Use them!”
  • Buy a bear-resistant cooler. “They’re pricey and many people won’t want to make the commitment, but they will save your car from bears,” Churchill said.
  • Hide your food out of plain sight, in a locked car. “As a last resort, lock your food up in a car/trunk. If you’re in the backcountry it is recommended that you hang your food far up high between trees in a bag,” Churchill said.
  • Keep your sleeping areas clean. “Don’t bring anything in the tent with a scent,” Churchill said. “No toothpaste, food, deodorant. Don’t wear the clothes you cooked in, keep them with your food.”
  • Keep your kids safe. “Teach your kids how to treat and interact with wildlife or any animals they don’t know,” Churchill said. “We have a SMART sheet on our website to teach kids what to do when they encounter wildlife.”
  • Having a healthy fear of bears not only keeps you safe, but also keeps them alive. “The more folks we have in Colorado, the more visitors, they don’t do the right things and chase them off. It’s great to get cool photos of wildlife, but if a bear, or any wildlife, is changing it’s behavior, you’re too close,” she said.

Colorado’s bears are awake. Here’s how to keep yourself — and them — safe http://dpo.st/2rBC7R7

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By Harriet
Questions We Can Answer About Colorado’s Order To Inspect Wells And Flowlines
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Questions We Can Answer About Colorado’s Order To Inspect Wells And Flowlines

An April 17 home explosion in Firestone, Colorado, that killed two and hospitalized a third, has been traced back to an abandoned flowline that bled off gas from a nearby wellhead into the soil next to the home’s foundation.

The incident prompted an initial voluntary shutdown of wells from three operators, renewed attention to the friction between expanding urban areas and oil and gas development, and an order from Gov. John Hickenlooper for oil and gas operators to inspect active and abandoned flowlines.

Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District investigators concluded May 2 that the flowline was improperly abandoned, meaning it wasn’t capped at both the well end and the far end of the line. The well was inactive for some time. When it was brought back into production in January 2017, methane and propane seeped into the soil near the home of Mark and Erin Martinez from the uncapped line. The gas moved from the soil into the home through a French Drain and sump pit, according to investigators. In contrast to leaking utility pipelines which contain the rotten egg smell — mercaptan — this gas was unscented.

If homeowners are planning to dig underground, they should dial 811, or go to Colorado 811. The nonprofit has a computer system that routes the request to the proper company, including utilities, cable providers and oil and gas operators. They have three days to process the request. If there are lines that homeowners needs to steer clear of, it’s the company’s responsibility to mark on the property where they are. Always remember to call before you dig. 

“We never want anybody out there excavating without having the proper locations out there,” said Colorado 811 Chief Executive Officer J.D. Maniscalco. “If they are ever in doubt. Call us back. Ask for a second notice to be sent.”

READ MORE: 7 Questions We Can Answer About Colorado’s Order To Inspect Wells And Flowlines http://bit.ly/2rNex7z 

 


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By Harriet
What to Consider When Selecting the Most Unique Landscaping Ideas for Colorado
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traditional-landscapeBought a home in Colorado and don’t know what to do with your sizable new yard? There are countless examples of houses that have been completely transformed through simple landscaping tricks. Whether you want a classy garden, lots of oxygen-giving trees or stone structures and walkways that are completely out of this world, the best Colorado landscaping experts will be able to help you out.

 

The Most Popular Landscaping Ideas for Colorado

 

Compared to other states, Colorado is somewhat trickier for landscaping professionals, since there are many regulations pertaining to the climatic and geographic circumstances associated with the landscaping projects in the area. From high altitudes, to low precipitation, to extreme cold weather, there are many factors that could lead to experts pulling the plug on many of your ideas.

 

So what’s left to consider? As it turns out, you can actually opt for a diverse and imaginative range of landscaping elements you can consider for your projects:

 

  • Vegetables and herbs is definitely bigger today than it used to be. As a landscaping solution, it has caught on in Colorado, and you can now ask landscaping experts to incorporate unusual

herbs into your potted plants and add basil, kale or thyme to your flowering garden.

  • Outdoor living and exterior lighting is a growing trend as Colorado residents continue to expand their outdoor living areas. You can opt for stylish, natural looking outdoor furniture combined with “dark sky” lighting that reduces pollution and allows you to stargaze more easily.
  • Xeriscaping is also a growing trend that shows much more promise today than in recent years. Now xeriscaping is all about groundcovers, colorful flowers and beautiful trees, as well as the addition of texture and color to the smart use of water.

 

Hiring a Qualified Landscaping Contractor

 

Landscaping is only easy when conducted by licensed, highly professional and highly experienced local Colorado experts.

 

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your landscaping deal, consider landscaping contractors that have at least 5-10 years of experience in the business, and can provide you with copies of their license, insurance policies and testimonials from satisfied customers who have used their services in the past.

Before you landscape, call 811 to find underground cables, wires and pipes.

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By Harriet