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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 response 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 response 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.

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.