Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility. Approximately every (6) minutes an underground facility is damaged because someone didn’t call for a locate request. Costs associated with underground facility damages in the U.S. were estimated at $1.5 billion dollars in 2016.
Before placing a locate request please educate yourself on the safe digging practices and the Missouri State Law RSMO Chapter 319.010, sections 319.010 – 319.050 known as the Underground Facility Safety and Damage Prevention Act.
It’s a free service to notify Missouri One Call of your planned excavation to help prevent damages that may result in fines, utility service interruption and injury or even death.
Who should place a locate request and when?
When planning any form of excavation, it is required by law to place a locate request with the Missouri One Call System at least 2 but not more than 10 working days before the expected date of commencing the excavation activity, except in the case of an emergency. The day the locate request is made doesn’t count toward the 2 working days. Weekends, state and federal holidays also do not count towards the 2 working days.
The person primarily responsible for the excavation should place the locate request.
What information is required to place a locate request?
Please be ready with the following information when you call in your locate:
- Start date (The day you plan to start digging)
- Your contact information
- On-Site contact information
- Type of work you will be doing
- Type of Equipment you will be using
- Who the work is being done for
- Will there be trenchless excavation or explosives involved? Click here for definition of trenchless excavation.
- Know the depth you plan to dig
- The county, city and nearest cross street to the dig site
- Driving directions from the nearest intersection.
- Where on the property the underground utilities need to be located (example – front, rear, or sides of the property)?
- Is the excavation area white lined?
What happens after the locate is submitted?
Once you have placed your locate request, MOCS will then notify the utilities that have underground facilities at your dig site based on your location. The utilities will send a locator to mark their facilities at your dig site prior to the start date and time on your locate request. Keep in mind that Missouri One Call (aka DIG-RITE) does not mark the utilities.
Missouri law requires member utilities to status their response to the excavator’s locate request using the Ticket Check System. Utilities can status the request as clear/no conflict if they do not have underground facilities in the area of excavation but are listed on the ticket.
Confirm the accuracy of the locate request
After placing your locate request a copy of the request will be emailed back to the excavator’s email address on the excavator contact information on the ticket. If any changes are needed on the locate request, contact the Call Center immediately.
Confirm utility response using Ticket Check
Excavators must confirm utility response before starting any excavation prior to the start date and time on the locate request. It is your responsibility as a homeowner/excavator to make sure all utilities have responded to your request by checking the status of the locate request. Check Status.
If a utility fails to status and respond by the start date and time on the locate request, contact Missouri One Call System and place a No Response ticket to renotify the utility that hasn’t responded. By law, the utility has two hours to respond to the No Response request either by contacting you directly or marking their underground facility.
What if the member utility fails to respond?
If a member utility fails to respond by the start date and time on the locate request, contact the Missouri One Call System Call Center (1-800-344-7483 or 811) and place a No Response ticket to renotify the utility that hasn’t responded.
By law, the utility has two hours to respond to the No Response request either by contacting you directly or marking their underground facility.
What do I do if the markings are incorrect?
If the markings are incorrect, place an Incorrect Locate request with the Missouri One Call System by calling 800-344-7483 or 811. Be sure to have your original ticket number when calling. The underground facility locator has 2 hours to respond to the incorrect locate request.
What will the utilities mark and will they mark private facilities?
The utilities will only mark what they own and operate. Facilities past the meter are usually privately owned and generally are not marked by the utility. If you have privately owned underground facilities, you will need to contact a private locator to mark the private underground facilities. Sometimes a local plumber will do private line locating or we have a few private locating companies listed here.
What do the marks and flags mean?
Respect the marks and dig with care
Marking the exact location of underground facilities is very difficult. Utility flags and marks must be placed within an area not wider than the width of the facilities and two feet on either side. Mechanically digging within this area is not advised. Hand digging is recommended.
Things to Remember
- Each excavator is required to place their own locate request. You cannot legally work from someone else’s request.
- It is important to provide a good contact phone number on your locate request.
- Always call in “No Response” and “Dig-up” notifications.
- White line the dig site to increase locator accuracy.
- Do not trust anyone else to call in your locate request or to relay ticket information. Print out the ticket for field reference.
- Always confirm utility response by checking the status of the utilities response before beginning excavation.
Common Causes of Damages
- Failure to exercise due care while digging, blind boring or directional drilling in the “approximate location” of underground facilities.
- Failing to confirm utility response before starting excavation.
- Working without a locate request.
- Beginning excavation before the start date and time on the ticket.
- Working outside the area described on the locate request.
- Assuming the depth of a facility.
- Assuming that the “approximate location” marks are exactly accurate and mechanically digging right up to the marks.