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Before You Dig

Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility, but excavators have more responsibilities under the law and higher risk if the proper processes aren’t followed. Submitting a ticket is the first step but it’s not the only step, and sometimes it takes more than just the one call.

Steps to Safe Digging

1
PLAN YOUR PROJECT
Gather all the information you need for your locate ticket. White lining your proposed dig site with white paint, flags if/when possible.





2
SUBMIT A TICKET
Submit an online ticket available on the website HERE, or by dialing 811.

Provide a 2 – 10 full working day notice, not counting day of notification, prior to the proposed start of excavation.


3
WAIT FOR MARKS
You will need to wait to start your work until the proposed start date of excavation to allow all affected facility owners the required time to mark their facilities. The more notice you give the more likely the facilities will all be able to respond prior to your excavation start date.
4
CHECK TICKET RESPONSES
Follow each member operator’s progress throughout the required time frame by confirming their ticket responses. Check for Positive Response.


5
CONFIRM THE MARKS
Once you’ve received responses from all members, compare the ticket response codes to the marks you see at the dig site. If they don’t match, contact 811 to have a second notice sent to that member.

6
DIG WITH CARE
The marks are approximate, and the tolerance zone is 18 inches either side of the utility marks. You are required to protect the locate marks throughout the project and request a refresh marks ticket if the marks become faded or destroyed.
7
EXTEND THE LIFE OF THE LOCATE REQUEST
If your excavation will continue beyond the 20 working day “life” of the locate request, you will need to update your request at least 2 working days, not counting the day of notification, prior to the expiration of the locate request. This will ensure you maintain an active and valid locate request for your project.
1
PLAN YOUR PROJECT
Gather all the information you need for your locate ticket. White lining your proposed dig site with white paint, flags if/when possible.
2
SUBMIT A TICKET
Submit an online ticket available on the website HERE, or by dialing 811.

Provide a 2 – 10 full working day notice, not counting day of notification, prior to the proposed start of excavation.
3
WAIT FOR MARKS
You will need to wait to start your work until the proposed start date of excavation to allow all affected facility owners the required time to mark their facilities. The more notice you give the more likely the facilities will all be able to respond prior to your excavation start date.
4
CHECK TICKET RESPONSES
Follow each member operator’s progress throughout the required time frame by confirming their ticket responses. Check for Positive Response.

5
CONFIRM THE MARKS
Once you’ve received responses from all members, compare the ticket response codes to the marks you see at the dig site. If they don’t match, contact 811 to have a second notice sent to that member
6
DIG WITH CARE
The marks are approximate, and the tolerance zone is 18 inches either side of the utility marks. You are required to protect the locate marks throughout the project and request a refresh marks ticket if the marks become faded or destroyed.
7
EXTEND THE LIFE OF THE LOCATE REQUEST
If your excavation will continue beyond the 20 working day “life” of the locate request, you will need to update your request at least 2 working days, not counting the day of notification, prior to the expiration of the locate request. This will ensure you maintain an active and valid locate request for your project.

HELPFUL TIP:

The proposed areas of excavations can be marked with white paint in order to show the location or boundaries of the proposed excavation. This helps with the efficiency of the locate process.

What is a Positive Response?

Positive Response is a process to facilitate communication between utilities, excavators and Alabama 811, regarding the status of identifying and marking the underground facilities within the proposed area of excavation on locate request tickets.

Responses can be viewed in real-time via the Find Locate Request link on the Alabama 811 WebPortal.

  • Visit https://geocall.al811.com/geocall/portal
  • Select Find Locate Request, enter your locate request ticket number in the search box and click search.
  • Your locate request ticket will be shown on the right side of the screen.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the locate request ticket to view the actions posted for each participating member utility company.
 
The WebPortal is available 24/7!

Our member underground facility owners must provide positive response, or give the “all clear,” before you can begin digging. You can check the status of your request online HERE by clicking the “Find Locate Request” option. You will need your locate request number to access the system. If a facility has not responded, we suggest that you contact Alabama 811 to have a second notice sent to members to let them know it has not been marked so that they can get it marked for your safety and protection.

Alabama 811 members can submit responses through Alabama 811’s WebPortal, utilize our free version of KorWeb ticket management software, or with a compatible in-house ticket management system. 

If you would like to submit responses for your company you will need to fill out a registration form HERE

Positive Response option for HIGH VOLUME tickets – For members that receive a high volume of locate requests, use a ticket management system or use your own response system, you will want to register for the automated upload to the positive response servers. Please indicate your interest on the registration form. Alabama 811 will provide documentation outlining the setup needed to enter responses into the positive response system.

Positive Response for the Alabama 811 WebPortal and Mobile App – The Alabama 811 WebPortal and the Alabama 811 Mobile App are resources available to members to document and record their responses to the locate request notifications received. The excavators will have the ability to look up the ticket and view the responses from members on the locate requests. The responses submitted will inform the excavators if utilities have been marked, are clear of the excavation

For more information, contact Jennifer Pickle:  jpickle@al811.com or 205.731.3210

NAME
DESCRIPTION
No Response from member facility
System generated code for no response
Located: Facilities Marked
Facilities Marked
Located: To Meter Only
Private Property beyond the meter
Located: In Conflict
Facility owner should be on-site during excavation
Unmarked: Unable to Access Locate Request Area
Unable to access area noted for locate request
Unmarked: Incorret Address or Excavation Site Info
Info incorrect – Contact AL811 for new locate request
Unmarked: Marking Information Unclear – Locator to Contact Excavator
Info unclear – excavator to be contacted directly
Unmarked: Unable to Contact Excavator
Needed additional info – unable to reach excavator
Unmarked: Delayed due to Weather of Other Circumstances
Delayed – need to contact locator or facility owner/operator directly
Unmarked: Cannot Locate – contact facility owner/operator directly
Unable to locate – need to contact facility owner/operator directly
Unmarked: Facility Owner/Operator or Master Contractor Generated Request
Facility owner/operator or master contractor responsible for marking
Design/Survey Locate: Marked
Physical markings completed at excavation site
Design/Survey Locate: Cleared No Conflict
No facilities in the area requested for design/survey site
Design/Survey Locate: Facility Owner/Operator to Provide Maps
Facility owner/operator will provide maps or access to maps
Design/Survey Locate: Meeting Requested
Facility owner/operator will contact to set up meeting arrangements
Other: Parties Have Agreed and Documented Locating Schedule
Parties have met and made locating schedule arrangements

What do the colors mean?

 

The marking guide from the American Public Works Association provides for universal use and understanding of the temporary marking of underground facilities.

White

Proposed Excavation

Red

Power/Electric

Yellow

Gas – Oil – Steam

Orange

Communications

Blue

Potable Water

Green

Sewer & Drain Lines

Purple

Reclaimed Water

Pink

Temporary Survey

What is the Tolerance Zone?

 

18 inches PLUS the diameter of the utility

Use of color-coded surface marks (paint, chalk, flags etc) is to indicate the location and route of buried facilities. All marks should indicate the name, initials or logo of the company that owns or operates the lines to help determine the proper facility owner if needed. If the width of the facility is greater than 2” (5mm) then it is good to indicate the width. If the surface above the buried facilities is to be removed, such as asphalt removal, then supplemental offset marks may be used. Offset markings should be on a uniform alignment and must clearly indicate the actual facility specific distance.