Broken conduits and damaged underground cables in trenchDigging up cables is a dangerous and costly inconvenience. Whether it be fibre optic, power, data or telephone cabling, nobody wants to be involved in damaged underground cables!

 When contractors are installing conduits and cables underground, they are supposed to lay warning tape above the conduits to prevent damage from future digging. There are very specific requirements when it comes to digging Duty of Care. Unfortunately, trenching is not always done correctly. On top of that, cables are not always scanned properly, so it can be quite a surprise if you are onsite and suddenly the excavator comes up with a damaged cable on the end of the bucket!


Fibre Optic Cables are the most common damaged underground cables. Elam workers installing underground cables and conduits in trenchThey are made up of tiny glass strands wrapped in underground rated protective sheathing and waterproof gel. They don’t have any copper through them which makes scanning for them impossible! Only very experienced trenching teams can carefully plan a dig around these underground cables.

Not only are fibre cables difficult to dig around – they also require a lot of length to re-terminate! Usually the damaged underground cable will need to be reinstalled with an entire new cable or a new section will need to be re-run to allow enough length to join it together. On top if this, you will need a new pit to be installed to house the underground cable join.

Elam have been called out to numerous sites to perform emergency repairs on damaged underground cables. We have suppliers who deliver on demand at very short notice and also Fibre Optic Specialist teams that can be brought from various locations around Sydney at the drop of a hat. This is extremely important since Fibre Optic cables are used as backbone infrastructure, supporting network links between buildings. Damaged underground cables, especially fibre optic, are a specialist area for cablers who can work fast under extreme pressure!

Call Elam now (02) 9809 2999

Click here to read about what happened at Parramatta Speedway