Contractor at Work
Two consulting firms partner to make drainage and utility installs simpler
DIGS Associates and Falkore Resource Group have partnered to better serve the drainage water remediation industry.
Two consulting companies that specialize in complementary fields are partnering up to simplify the process of large-scale agricultural drainage and utility projects across the United States.
DIGS Associates, a consulting and engineering firm specializing in watershed drainage, professional engineering, and drainage water management, announced their partnership with Falkore Resource Group, a consultancy providing services in underground utility and drainage installation methods and machinery. The companies have partnered to expand their reach and capabilities within the drainage water remediation industry servicing both agricultural drainage and utility markets.
Within the new partnership, DIGS will consult on what’s best for the watershed, individual farms, and oversee the installation of projects. Falkore will provide machines, repairs, GPS, and on-site support for the contractor who is installing the agricultural drainage or utility project.
Falkore Resource Group connects the correct machinery with the correct practices for agricultural drainage contractors and utilities (wind, solar, and other underground installations). Now, Falkore will also be able to offer contractors DIGS’ engineering services which include drainage design, irrigation design, project facilitation, watershed determination and identification, among others.
The announced partnership would mean that these agricultural drainage or utility projects would have a smoother installation process and be more equitable for all stakeholders.
“There’s a big issue with drainage tile remediation [during a utility project], because what they do is they wait until they hit it, and then they fix it,” Corey Getz, co-founder of DIGS Associates, explained over the phone.
In previous utility projects, utility contractors have hit existing tiles when installing transmission lines, and then it is the agricultural drainage contractors responsibility to remediate for the landowner. The agricultural drainage contractor regularly waits on site for tile to be interrupted or hit, which leads to increased cost and difficult repairs. A more proactive approach can be taken.
DIGS and Falkore will work together on a new procedure where the companies go in before the utility company and make sure all the drainage is upgraded or located prior to an installation.
“When we partner with these [project] contractors, we’re able to identify within a watershed all the tiles that are currently there, give landowners and/or the utility an opportunity to upgrade, and assist and support the contractor through installation,” Getz says.
DIGS is a third-party intermediary which facilitates all aspects of drainage water remediation so that the utility company has one point of contact through the remediation process. The company DIGS takes on the role of contacting landowners or other stakeholders.
A more proactive approach
The proactive approach gives the utility company an engineering plan that accounts for existing tile and watershed priorities. DIGS can work with utility companies prior to installation to relocate or alter plans – if necessary – so landowners’ tiles are not struck. Getz explains that knowing the installation elevation is also helpful.
“We can engineer new drainage tile and upgrade the infrastructure and place them at a deeper depth so that they’re not interrupted during construction,” Getz explains.
For contractors, the proactive approach eliminates the potential to contact buried utility lines under a field during a subsurface drainage installation. Utilities usually run parallel to the road in rights-of-way, but some, especially pipelines, cut across fields. These buried utilities present challenges to the safe installation of new, or upgrades to existing, subsurface drainage system.
For contractors, the proactive approach eliminates the potential to contact buried utility lines under a field during a subsurface drainage installation.
“So instead of hitting 5,000 unknown tiles, we only hit tiles that we’ve already located so we know what’s coming. And we give the landowner an opportunity to upgrade their current system where necessary,” Getz says. “We turn all the unknowns into knowns.”
Excitement about the partnership
The partnership is not exclusive. DIGS and Falkore will remain as two separate companies but work together on certain projects.
“I see DIGS Associates business model as a win-win for everyone. We’re looking forward to working with the DIGS team to offer quality solutions with accelerated completion dates, while putting landowners, utilities, and ag contractors in a position for success. This partnership allows DIGS and Falkore to offer the most complete range of services available to anyone that has the need for a trencher or plow on any type of project,” stated Kevin Shimp, co-founder of Falkore Resource Group, in the media release.
Max Shimp, who works on the utility side of the business as a co-founder of Falkore Resource Group, also expressed his excitement about the partnership.
“I’m excited to finally be working with DIGS Associates and I wish we could have teamed up with Corey and Quint about 10 years ago. DIGS’ business model of holistically working with neighbors, watersheds, and jurisdictions while providing the most equitable solutions in the industry, eliminates headaches for me while also bringing the agricultural and utility markets together,” Shimp said.
“We are really looking forward to adding Kevin and Max’s boots-on-the-ground understanding and acumen to the DIGS portfolio,” added Quint Shambaugh, co-founder of DIGS Associates. “This is a huge win for DIGS Associates and I’d challenge anyone to find two more knowledgeable individuals on drainage installation, utility installation, industry specific machinery and processes.”
“We found a lot of value in getting neighbors [within the same watershed] to work together,” Getz says. “So, what we’re doing is taking that footprint and we’re applying it to these utility projects.”