If you are planning to do any digging around your home or business, Indiana state law requires that you contact the Indiana Underground Plant Protection Service at least two working days before you dig.
“Call before you dig”
New! National locate phone number.
Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, Indiana state law requires a call to “locate” underground utilities, before digging begins. To make the phone number simpler to remember, a new nationwide call number has been established. From anywhere in the nation, dialing 811 will transfer your call to the statewide underground locate service. This simple phone call will begin the process of notifying all utilities that digging will soon begin. Each utility will then determine if they have underground facilities located at this site. Whether it is gas, electric, telephone or cable TV, each utility is responsible to locate their equipment.
Without a call to the locate service, your digging could possibly damage underground facilities. If you fail to call for a locate and then damage underground utility facilities, the repair cost can be charged to the landowner or contractor causing the damage. Worse yet, digging into a gas line or electric line can be very hazardous. For instance, a spade digging into an underground electric line can cause serious shock, electrical burn or even death to the person holding the handle. More than an inconvenience to you, the loss of service from a cut water, telephone, electric or cable TV line can affect many people.
How big does a job need to be to warrant a phone call? It is simple; every job that requires digging of any type, requires a simple phone call to 811. There is no cost, and it is better to be safe than sorry. Even small jobs like planting a tree, installing a deck or even a mail box requires a call to 811.
When you call for a locate, here is the sequence of events:
- First you must outline your project area with white paint. It is important that you observe the color code.
- Next, call 811 and give them your location, including county and township, plus the name and phone number of the person doing the digging. It is important to make the phone call at least two full days prior to the digging, not counting weekends and holidays.
- Wait until the utility lines are all marked. Allow at least two working days for all lines to be located. Electric lines will be marked in red, gas lines in yellow, telephone and TV cable line in orange, water lines in blue and central sewage lines in green.
- Dig with care. Locating underground line is not an exact science. It is also important to note that any lines owned by the resident will not be marked, thus you must also be aware of their location.
If your project is delayed, the marking will remain legally valid for twenty days from the time you initiated the locate request. There is no charge for the locate service; however, failing to call for a locate puts you at risk for damages caused by the digging.
Remember… call 811 before you dig!
IUPPS also offers on-line services. You can find their Web site at: http://www.iupps.org