How Long Is A Utility Locate Good For?

“…a person who plans to excavate shall contact a notification center not earlier than the 14th day before the excavation is to begin…” says Section 251.151 of the Texas One-Call statute. The so-called “14-Day Rule” was first taken to suggest that a find notice or “ticket” expired after 14 days. The Texas Attorney General, on the other hand, has issued Opinion No. JC-0234. As stated in the summary:

In Oklahoma, how long does a location last?

Before excavation/digging can commence, the excavator or anybody working for the excavator must give notice of no more than 10 days nor less than 48 hours, omitting Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays.

OKIE811 accepts standard locate requests seven days a week by web ticket. Calls for emergency locates are accepted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During normal contact center hours, all types of locates can be submitted over the phone.

Member firms have two working days to reply to routine locate requests to get their subterranean wires marked. Member companies are notified and respond to emergency locate requests as soon as they are received, but we ask that you give the locator at least 2 hours to respond. Routine requests made outside of regular business hours are processed so that the response period begins at 7 a.m. the following business day. Please refer to the Contact Center Hours of Operation for the most up-to-date information.

OKIE811 will notify you which of our member firms have underground lines in your dig region, and they will be notified of your excavation near their lines. We’ll provide you a reference number that you may use as verification of your call.

We also preserve a detailed record of each call in order to ensure that you are following the law.

Member companies of OKIE811 will label their underground lines as necessary, allowing you to work securely and without delay.

Private service lines, such as gas grill lines, water lines, sewer lines, electric connection to your shop or garage, satellite dish cable, and any other private services not held by utility companies in your region, must be located by you or a private contractor.

Begin your project with the assurance that you’re following safe excavation procedures while preserving important services, safeguarding property, and saving lives!

In Missouri, how long do locations last?

Excavators must give notice at least two but no more than ten working days before work begins, according to state legislation. Markings are acceptable as long as they are visible and usable, and excavation is started within 10 working days.

Is it permissible for me to dig a hole in my backyard?

How far can you dig in your garden legally? As previously stated, there is no legal minimum or maximum depth to which you can dig holes in your backyard residential property without calling 811 or consulting the local building authority, thus you must call 811 before excavating any type of hole. However, it is generally safe to dig holes on your property that are no more than 300mm deep (12 inches) for practical purposes (putting legal requirements aside), and it is considerably safer and non-risky to dig holes that are no more than 100mm deep (4 inches). It will be perfectly safe as long as you dig within your residential lot and not elsewhere, such as on street paving. In most circumstances, depending on your state’s legislation, digging holes in your street curb and paving will require a permission.

Can I go as far as I can before dialing 811?

This figure comes from the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), and if it sounds disturbingly high to you, it’s because many people are unaware that they must call 811 before digging.

While the ground may not have thawed where you are, April is National Safe Digging Month, and it’s a good reminder to know what you need to do before breaking ground on this year’s projects.

According to data collated by CGA from various industry associations, there are more than 100 billion feet of subsurface utilities in the United States, so you can’t assume your customer’s property is free of them.

There is no limit to how deep a person can go before calling 811. CGA advises that any time you put a shovel in the ground, whether it’s to plant little shrubs or build a fence, you should contact because many utilities are buried just a few inches below the surface.

Even if an area has been designated previously, erosion and root system growth might change the depth or location of buried wires, so call each time you start a job.

Calling 811 is also not an optional chore, as every state has a different statute that requires people to contact before digging. While the amount of time you have to call 811 before digging differs by state, you can find your state’s standards here.

It is a frequent misperception that dialing 811 costs money; nevertheless, dialing 811 is completely free. Utility companies cover the cost to protect you, your staff, and your customers. When you don’t call, hit a utility line, and are held liable for the damage, the true expenses effect your business.

Some utility companies charge not just for the expense of dispatching a staff to repair or replace the damaged property, but also for the loss of service caused by the outage.

In recent years, some states have enacted penalties and fines to aid in the enforcement of the law. Mississippi passed a law in 2016 requiring first-time offenders to complete a compliance training course.

Second-time offenders within a five-year period must complete a training course or face a fine of up to $500 per offense. Malicious activities with the aim to destroy subsurface lines result in a training course and fines of up to $5,000 per event for third-time crimes in a five-year period.

  • Two to three days before digging, call 811 or submit an online request to your local one-call center.
  • The affected utility companies will be notified by the one-call center. Wait two to three days for the utility operators to react to your request (this varies by state). For each request, an average of seven to eight operators are notified.
  • Verify that all of the operators who are affected have responded to your request. The process for confirmation varies by state.
  • Dig around the designated locations with care. The majority of state rules prevent machines from being used within 18 to 24 inches of a utility that has been marked. Hand dig or use vacuum excavation if you need to dig closer.

Keep in mind that depending on the state, the locate ticket is only good for a set amount of time, and if you want to continue, you’ll need to call 811 for a re-mark.

Stop working immediately if one of your employees accidentally hits a pipeline. The processes that follow differ depending on the type of utility line hit.

When dealing with natural gas, propane, or petroleum lines, leave the area and contact 911 as well as the facility operator. Don’t do anything that could start a blaze, and make sure everyone is aware of the situation. Keep the public out by cordoning off the area. Stay away from the gas and do not attempt to repair the pipe on your own.

Warning everyone in the area, including emergency responders, that the ground and objects near the point of contact may be energized in the case of electrical wires.

If you have a radio or phone, call the electricity utility operator or the fire department. Otherwise, stay on the excavator and ask someone to call for utility and emergency help.

Those near the excavator or point of contact should keep both feet together and remain still. They must not come into contact with the excavator or the material. Only leave the excavator and the surrounding area after an official from the electric utility has declared it safe. If a fire, explosion, or other hazard requires quick evacuation, jump (not step) from the apparatus and land with both feet. Make sure you’re at least 25 to 30 feet away. Take no ordinary walking steps.

Notify the facility owner of any damaged communications cables, and do not study or stare at broken, severed, or disconnected fibers. Keep a safe distance away and block the area to keep others out.

Contact the pipeline operator after examining the situation and ensuring that nothing appears to be harmed. Minor nicks or dents can lead to major issues in the future.

If a homeowner has consulted you but intends to do it themselves, remind them that calling 811 isn’t just for professionals; anyone planning to dig must dial this number.

Locate request person

Persons contemplating the construction of a facility across, on, along, or under a pipeline or a ground disturbance operation in the prescribed area must contact the one-call center in their area to make a locate request for each proposed location. In the absence of a one-call center, the pipeline company must be contacted directly. The person carrying out the construction or ground disturbance activity is responsible for ensuring that a locate request has been submitted and that any buried facilities have been located and their locations indicated.

The location request must be submitted at least three working days prior to the start of the facility’s construction or the activity that will cause a ground disturbance. To conduct the activity, the individual proposing the construction or activity must receive the pipeline company’s written authorization (see section 7 and section 10). Those planning operations will have called the pipeline company to acquire consent before making the locate request, and after this consent is achieved, they must either phone the one-call centre or, in locations where there is no one-call centre, call the pipeline company again for the locate request.

The pipeline company’s locator will come out to the site after the request is made to conduct the locate, label the pipe, and provide a locate report to the individual who made the request. The locator will use locate technology and information provided by the pipeline company, such as georeferenced maps, to locate the pipe.

Pipeline businesses who provide location reports must adhere to the standards outlined in section 6 of the DPR Obligations of Pipeline Companies. The pipeline business must: Within three working days of receiving the locate request, the pipeline company must:

  • informing the person, in writing, of the safety precautions to be taken while working near its pipes and, in the event of a ground disturbance, within the prescribed area;
  • designate the position of its pipes within 10 meters of the proposed facility or the prescribed area with markings that are clearly visible and distinct from any other markings in the vicinity of the proposed facility or the prescribed area; and
  • give the person with information that explains the importance of the markings.

A locate report, which displays the location of the pipe and accompanying infrastructure, contains information regarding the pipeline’s location. A schematic depicting the horizontal alignment of the identified pipe and related facilities, as well as their position relative to clearly visible objects, is included in the locate report. The location report details what has to be done to avoid harm to the pipe or its connected facilities. The horizontal alignment of the pipe is determined by the locator’s surface marks. The significance of markings and the information on the locate report are communicated to the person planning the ground disturbance via locators.

The person conducting the construction or ground disturbance activity must follow the requirements indicated in sections 7 and 10 below, including the technical specifications contained in the pipeline company’s written approval. The person must follow the directions of the pipeline company’s authorized field representative when it comes to the processes to be followed during the construction or activity.

Companies should use a combination of color coded surface markers, temporary poles, or flagging to designate the horizontal alignment of their subterranean infrastructure. Markings should include the name, initials, or emblem of the pipeline firm that owns or runs the line whenever possible.

Stakes or markings may vanish or be moved. When delays exceed the time limit stipulated in the locate report, or the locate markings become illegible, the person doing the construction or activity must seek a fresh locate.

Supplemental offset markings should be utilized to clearly show the horizontal alignment of the pipe or facilities as established by the locate if the surface over the pipe or facilities is to be removed or dug.

The colors used to designate the horizontal alignment of subsurface infrastructure should follow the American Public Works Association Uniform Color Code:

When must a ground disturber in Alberta refresh the locate requests?

Ground disturbers must request new locates if they have not completed a ground disturbance within the extended term of 30 calendar days from the date locates were issued.

In Alberta, how deep are electricity lines buried?

The cable is typically buried around 4 feet underground. This depth, however, can vary. Some wires have been discovered at depths of up to 6 feet. Ascertain that the excavation complies with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code Part 32. (2009).