Understanding Telstra Pits and Manhole Symbols


If you work in the construction industry in Sydney, and conduct excavation on your projects, you know that the accurate identification and location of Telstra pits and other infrastructure is crucial. 

If you have come across a Telstra before you dig plan, you might have noticed different symbols and shapes that represent various telecommunications infrastructures. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Telstra pits and manhole symbols, what they represent, and why they are essential for telecommunications technicians.

What are Telstra Pits?


Telstra pits are small access points that are used to house telecommunication infrastructure, such as cables and joint equipment. They are used to protect these cables and equipment from damage and to provide easy access for maintenance and repairs.

Location of Telstra Pits

Telstra pits can be found all over Sydney, they are often found in public areas, such as footpaths and road verges, but they can also be found on private property. 

They come in different shapes and sizes. Some are small, while others are large enough to accommodate a person. It is essential to locate these pits accurately to avoid damaging the infrastructure and causing interruptions to communication services. 

Telstra provides before-you-dig plans that show the location of the pits and other underground assets.

What are Telstra Pits on Telstra Before You Dig Plan?

On a Telstra before you dig plan, Telstra pits are represented by a circle with a number or letter inside. 

Telstra Pit Symbol on Telstra BYDA Plans

On a Telstra before you dig plan, Telstra pits are represented by a circle with a number or letter inside. The numbers and letters indicate the size and classification of the pit lead or the pit itself. For example, smaller Telstra pits will have letters inside the circles on the plan, typically consisting of A, B, C, and D. 

Telstra Network Mains Cable Plan Pit to Pit Distance Information Text London St. Enmore NSW

The lids for these smaller pits are quite small and have practically been phased out now. 


They may still be seen in some areas of the inner western suburbs of Sydney, and rural parts of NSW although due to the small conduit sizes and being galvanised iron conduits, many of these pits have been upgraded since then. Regardless, it’s essential to respect all underground assets and seek further information if you’re uncertain of what you’ve come across.

Regular-sized pits that you might come across out in the street are the concrete and plastic composite lids that range on the door before a dig plan with numbers of 1 to 9 inside a circle. 

The pits found on the Telstra BYDA plans with just one concrete lid or composite lid will have a number ranging from 1 to 5 inside the circle. If you’re walking through your job site and see a 5 pit on the plan, you’re going to be looking at a rectangle lid with the dimensions of a roundabout 650 by 400. 

650 by 400 Telstra pit size in Sydney
650 by 400 Telstra pit size

The pits found on the plan with numbers ranging from 6 to 9 will be a concrete or plastic composite lid, and they might have a range of 2 to 3 lids. So, a 6 pit will have two lids, and a 9 pit will have three lids. It will generally be a combination of six pit-sized lids in a straight-line arrangement of two or three in a row.

Safety Protocols around Telstra Pits

When encountering pits, it is essential to prioritise safety and never attempt to open or tamper with them unless trained as a Telstra accredited plant locatorcontractor, or before-you-dig certified locating professional

If you notice any damage or issues, report them to Telstra immediately.

Intersection Telstra pit empty 2

What are Telstra Manholes?

Telstra’s manholes are larger access points used to house underground infrastructure such as fibre optic cables, main copper cables, conduit bank openings, and jointsTelstra’s manholes are used for maintenance and repair purposes and also to haul fibre and Telstra communication cables.

Location of Telstra Manholes

Telstra’s manholes are usually found on street corners and strategically placed on footpaths along private and commercial areas where major mains cables are used. 

They are sometimes hidden by landscaping, such as bushes and trees, making them challenging to locate without prior knowledge or equipment.

What are Telstra Manholes on Telstra Before You Dig Plan?

On a Telstra before you dig plan, manholes are represented by rectangles separated by a black and white diagonal section. Like pits, manhole symbols can vary in size and shape depending on the specific Telstra network and location.

Safety Protocols around Telstra Manholes


Like Telstra pits, Telstra manholes require careful handling and respect for underground assets. 

Only trained and certified professionals should attempt to access or work near these manholes. 

If any damage or issues are noticed, report them to Telstra immediately.

Importance and Maintenance of Telstra Manholes

Telstra manholes play a critical role in the telecommunication network, allowing access to major cables and other equipment for maintenance and repair purposes. It is essential to maintain these manholes regularly to ensure they function correctly and minimise service disruptions.

Why are Telstra Pits and Manholes Important?

Telstra pits and manholes are critical components of the telecommunication infrastructure that supports the country’s communication services. 

Fibre optic cable underground locating SERVICE BY geoscope communication pit manhole
Telstra Pits and Manholes

Without these access points, it would be challenging to maintain and repair underground cables and equipment, resulting in disruptions to communication services.

Telstra pits and manholes also play a vital role in ensuring the safety of the public and workers in the telecommunication industry. By providing a designated location for telecommunication infrastructure, these access points minimise the risk of damage to the cables and equipment during construction, excavation, and other activities.

Understanding Telstra pits and manhole symbols is crucial for anyone working in the telecommunications industry or planning an excavation project.

 Familiarising yourself with these symbols can help to identify and understand the type of infrastructure that they represent and whether or not cables and conduits, duct runs, bypass intersections and certain areas along your proposed excavation area.

However, as mentioned before, it’s important to prioritise safety when encountering pits and manholes. Never attempt to open or tamper with them unless you are trained as a Telstra accredited plant locator, a Telstra contractor, or before you dig a certified locating professional. If you notice any damage or issues, report them to Telstra right away and always follow the safety protocols when working near them.

If you need any help understanding How to read Telstra Plans or have any questions about telecommunications infrastructure, the team at Geoscope is always available to assist you. You can reach us by leaving a comment down below, by sending an e-mail to info@geoscopelocating.com.au or by directly filling out the form below!

Picture of Patricia Cupiado

Patricia Cupiado

Co-Author of this Article

More to explorer

Utility Survey in Liverpool

Geoscope Locating offers precise utility surveying trusted by Liverpool’s top construction firms. Our advanced 3D imaging, non-destructive methods, and rapid response ensure safe and efficient digging. Book today to avoid utility strikes and delays.

Utility Locating at 52 McLaren Street North Sydney NSW 2060 by Geoscope Locating

Utility Locating in North Sydney, NSW

Geoscope Locating provides expert utility locating services in North Sydney and surrounding areas. With our local knowledge and advanced technology, we ensure the safety and efficiency of your excavation projects.

Underground Service Locating at Mandarin and Malta Street Fairfield East NSW 2165 by Geoscope Locating

Underground Service Locating in Fairfield, NSW

Need reliable Underground Service Locating in Fairfield? Geoscope are the local experts. Our technicians use premier ground penetrating radar (GPR), electromagnetic locating and non-destructive vacuum excavation to pinpoint underground utilities with unmatched accuracy. Avoid costly utility strikes — identify pipes, cables and more before you dig with our specialty mapping and detection services. Get a free quote now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *