The Utilities section within Facilities Management & Safety is tasked with preventing unintended damage to Ohio University's utility systems. With over 200 buildings on campus, the University operates and maintains many different utility systems, including: electric, natural gas, communications, domestic water, chilled water, non-potable irrigation water, steam heat, compressed air, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, and tunnels. To keep the University within "Call Before You Dig" legal compliance, the section will fulfill over 100 utility locate requests in any given year for architects, engineers, surveyors, contractors, utility companies, landscapers, and even tailgaters. FMS employs supervised student crews to perform this important function, using industry standard equipment and techniques. Student employees from many different fields of study receive certified training on utility locating and earn practical, relevant work experience to start their careers.
In addition to preventing damage to the utility systems, the section also actively maintains a Geographic Information System (GIS) of these systems. Using highly accurate Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, the section has identified and cataloged over a thousand utility distribution assets. The section has also created 1” high resolution orthoimagery of nearly 400 acres of the Athens campus. An additional initiative spearheaded by the utilities section is the deployment of online services, to provide constituents with interactive maps that are accessible from their mobile devices.