Underground School

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Underground School

Underground School

Date: May 11-14, 2021
  • Day 1: May 11, 2021 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Day 2: May 12, 2021 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  • Day 3: May 13, 2021 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Day 4: May 14, 2021 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: MMUA Training Center, 1004 Michigan Road, Marshall, MN
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Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association and our partners—Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) and American Public Power Association (APPA)—are pleased to offer the 2021 Underground School.

The Underground School offers a hands-on training track with a variety of training sessions and an advanced technical course. Whether you are a seasoned Journeyman looking to stay current or are an Apprentice just starting out, this school offers something for everyone. 

Individuals registered for the Multi-Session Class will rotate through four different sessions, covering a variety of topics that can enhance safety and improve efficiency.

NOTE: Members of MREA need to register on their site directly.

What You Will Learn 


The General Sessions are held on the first and last day of the School. Participants must attend these sessions to receive full credit for course hours.

Tuesday, May 11

Cable Design, Prep and Handling, Presented by the Okonite Company
The presentation will include the characteristics that go into designing an underground utility cable and what the manufacturing process looks like. Proper cable preparation for termination, proper handling and inspection of cable reels upon receipt, preferred installation practices and common failure mechanisms during installation will also be discussed.

Best Practices for Designing a Cable Installation, Joel Donner, Okonite; Matt Hannafin, UMUS; and Larry Lamote, Marshall Municipal Utilities
We will discuss a cable pull recently executed by Marshall Municipal Utility crews. We will detail the steps and process involved to complete this installation, including proper planning and the tools required to complete an extensive cable installation, plus applications and software to calculate Maximum Pulling Tension and Maximum Sidewall Pressure.

Friday, May 14

Proper Traffic Control
Traffic control plays a crucial role in the safety of lineworkers. Any time work is performed on the roadway or along side of it, regardless of how long it will take, proper traffic control needs to be done. Different measures of control will be covered pertaining to speed zones and layout of the roadways.

CLASS OPTIONS: Multi-Session Class or Advanced Class


Note: This Multi-Session Class is intended for lineworkers of all experience levels. Registrants will rotate through each of the following four sessions. (The Advanced Class does not rotate.)

Session #1 - Troubleshooting Primary Outages & Implementing Switching Procedures
Knowing how to properly identify a faulted cable and being able to restore power in an efficient and timely manner is crucial. Participants will gain knowledge in this area by learning the safe and proper ways on identifying, isolating, and grounding a faulted cable. Following those proper steps, they will then go through different scenarios of restoring power with switching procedures and returning the system back to normal after the fault has been repaired. Tying different feeders together, as well as different substations will be covered.

Session #2 - Directional Drill Operations
In this session, participants will gain hands-on experience operating a directional drill as well as the equipment needed to complete a project. Whether you have experience with a directional drill or not, this class will be beneficial.

Session #3 - Troubleshooting Secondary
This class is designed to give students an insight of megging secondary wire. Because secondary faults are a never-ending issue, troubleshooting is of utmost importance. Instructors will cover different ways of restoring power. Participants will be taught the need for an add-a-phase and how to properly install one, as well as hooking up a meter socket with armored cable. After service has been restored, individuals work on finding the fault.

Session #4 - 600-Amp Terminations
This session will help participants gain important knowledge in the process of terminating 500 MCM aluminum wire. Three different types of terminations will be taught. A skirted termination for a riser, 600-amp Elbow in a PME switch, and a splice will all be covered. Proper tool selection and grounding will also be covered.


Key Considerations When Choosing An AMI Metering System, Greg Calcari, mPower Innovations

There are many proven AMI solutions in today’s marketplace. Learn the key differentiators, which can help you determine which AMI vendor offers the best combination of capabilities and value for your utility. In addition, this session will cover how best to prepare for and to manage an AMI deployment.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Importance of Establishing Priorities and Objectives
  • Develop RFP General Requirements: AMI hardware & software, network infrastructure, data server
  • IT/Security Requirements
  • Develop RFP Advanced System Requirements: Outage and restoration detection, remote disconnect/reconnect, system integration (SCADA, GIS, OMS, MDM)
  • Keys to Successful Implementation


Tuesday, May 11

12:00 pm  Registration/Check In
1:00 pm  Welcome
1:15 pm  General Session: Cable Design, Prep and Handling
2:45 pm  General Session: Best Practices for Designing a Cable Installation

Wednesday, May 12

8:30 am  Instruction: Multi-Session Class
11:45 am  Lunch Served
12:30 pm  Instruction: Multi-Session Class
4:00 pm Wrap-up
5:00 pm  Optional activities (at participant's expense):

  • Golf at Savanna Oaks Golf Course
  • Sporting Clays at Shooters

Thursday, May 13

8:30 am  Instruction: Multi-Session & Advanced Class
11:45 am  Lunch Served
12:30 pm  Instruction: Multi-Session and Advanced Class

Friday, May 14

8:30 am  General Session: Proper Traffic Control
12:00 pm  Wrap-up

*Schedule/program subject to change without notice.

Lineworker Rodeo Mystery Event

This mystery event is open to all classes of lineworker, from first-year apprentice to the advanced journeyman. This is a fun event which demonstrates safe working practices and a little speed. A trophy will be awarded to the person with the best time and fewest infractions.

Optional Evening Activities

Wednesday, May 12

Sporting Clay Shoot or Golf
At participant’s expense, we will arrange a fun evening of golf at Savannah Oaks Golf Course or an evening of sporting clays at Shooter’s Gun Club.


Participants will receive a certificate of achievement. Watch for an email notification from MMUA after the event.

Hotel / Motel Information - Marshall, MN

For a map of hotels in Marshall, click HERE. The AmericInn by Wyndham and EverSpring Inn & Suites (formerly the Ramada) have special pricing. Just ask for MMUA's reduced rate.

Registration Fee

Registration fee includes: workshop tuition, materials, refreshment breaks, two lunches, and a certificate of achievement. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and lodging.

Deadline to register is April 19.


MMUA will issue a refund on advance registrations (minus $30 processing fee per person) provided MMUA is notified by 4:30 pm on April 19, 2021. No refunds after April 19.


By registering for this event I/we authorize Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to photograph me at this event and use such photographs in MMUA marketing materials (both electronic and print). I/we understand that I/we will not be paid for giving this consent. 


If you have questions about the program and its content, contact Cody Raveling by calling 507.530.2096 or email craveling@mmua.org.

If you have questions or problems with registration or reservations, contact Theresa Neddermeyer by calling 763.551.1230 or email tneddermeyer@mmua.org.

This information is available in a printable brochure as well.

Thank You, Annual Sponsors

View all Annual Sponsors

Hometown Connections Helps MMUA Members

Hometown Connections is an American Public Power Association subsidiary that provides products and services designed to help municipal utilities meet today's new and pressing industry challenges. MMUA is a Hometown Connections Affiliate.

For information on AMI, operations, cyber-security, business strategy, customer care, finance and workforce issues, click on the Hometown Connections logo!