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Dig Safe

Submit a Dig Safe request

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst contains a vast underground network of utilities which include electric and fiberoptic conduit, telecom and televison lines, water, steam and sewer lines. These various utility lines are the hidden lifeblood of this university. In order to maintain the miles of utilities, and to protect the public and the workers, a Dig Safe system, which is Massachusetts law, is in place.

Anytime ground is to be broken on campus, a Dig Safe permit is required. This runs the gamut from major construction to simply putting up tents and signs. The University maintains a Dig Safe office in the Physical Plant through which these requests are processed, Dig Safes are entered into the system, sites are premarked and the utilities located and marked with the appropriate colors.

Additional information:

Central Heating Plant (CHP)

Plant Manager: Steve Lemay

utilitiesResponsibilities: Provides steam heat and electrical power to campus by means of a combine cycle plant. The Central Heating Plant has three boilers, capable of firing natural gas and ultra-low number two fuel oil at 125,000 pounds per hour each and one heat recovery steam generator for an additional 100,000 pounds per hour. Total annual steam generated approaches 1.2 billion pounds. Electrical power is supplied by two generators that can produce a total of 14 megawatts. One generator is driven by a combustion turbine; the other is driven by a steam turbine.

Electrical Maintenance

Electrical Supervisor: Dave Schoen

Responsibilities: Provides oversight of exterior electrical distribution system for all campus buildings involving the distribution of 20 Megawatts of power with an an approximant yearly usage of 112,000,000 kwh at an annual cost of roughly $7.7 Million. Provides maintenance and repair of all system components: transformers, switches, poles, street lights, traffic lights, breakers, transfers, and associate equipment. Works closely with off-campus utilities (Western Electric) to insure continuity of quality and quantity of power is maintained.

Mechanical Maintenance

Mechanical Supervisor: Tom Fydenkevez


  • Dig Safe: Manages of the campus Dig Safe program for on campus Dig Safe request.
  • Steam: Maintains and repairs the 26 miles of the Campus steam distribution and condensate return systems. Replace steamlines. Perform the annual steam shutdown maintenance project.
  • Water: Maintains and repairs the 35 miles of the Campus water distribution system. The system is from the five Town of Amherst water meters to the building services. Provide all backflow prevention protection for the Campus. Maintain and repair Campus irrigation systems. Maintain and repair Campus fire hydrants.
  • Sewer: Maintain and repair Campus sewer system from the building outlet to Town of Amherst sewerage treatment plant.
  • Storm water: Maintain and repair Campus storm water piping and catch basin system. Works with Facility Planning Department on new capital projects, (ie steamline replacement, roadways, and new buildings.)

Campus Electrical Utility Engineer

Steve Grden

Responsibilities: Monitoring and analysis of campus electrical energy and power quality, engineering in support of campus electrical systems maintenance and operation, building commissioning, and Electrical Utility Design Standards.

Campus Energy Engineer

Jason Burbank

Responsibilities: Monitoring and analysis of campus energy and water consumption, engineering in support of campus utility systems maintenance and operation, energy management system design and operation, building commissioning, HVAC design standards. Responsibilities: Monitoring and analysis of campus electrical energy and power quality, engineering in support of campus electrical systems maintenance and operation, building commissioning, and Electrical Utility Design Standards.

utilitiesCampus Metering and Controls Engineer

Homa Kashani

Responsibilities: Install, calibrate, and maintain campus electrical metering systems. Provide monthly campus utilities usage. Engineering Design, and Project Management, of campus controls systems. Provide electrical controls system support to Central Heating Plant.

Construction CHP Maintenance Engineer

Ben Caron

Responsibilities: Provides project support for Physical Plant, Utility and Energy related projects. Manage campus wide water treatment program for building heat and cooling systems. Responsible for the operation of the Effluent Reclamation Project.

Campus Water Treatment

Janie Szelewicki

utilitiesResponsibilities: Janie Szelewicki, Technical Specialist II for the Physical Plant Utilities Dept. Janie collects water samples from the Isenberg School of Management's new air conditioning system. Janie bioscans the cooling system water of every building on campus for bacteria each week and invites anyone who would like to take a tour of the water treatment program to call her at 545-3454.

Non-Standard Discharge Icon

The Non-Standard Discharge Form can be found here. Please note that a UMass NetID and password are required to access the form.


Jeffrey Bryan,
Assistant Director (Int.)

jbryan@facil.umass.edu (413) 545-0605

Emergency info

Fire & police: 911

Our service desk

Phone: 545-6401

Fax: 545-0729

Phys Plant service request