News + Events

Why Are There Flags And Paint In My Yard?

flags blogIMG

At some point in time, you’ve probably noticed small colored flags placed in your yard or around town. Sometimes the ground is also marked with different colors of paint. If you have these flags and paint in your yard, it means that someone in the area is planning to dig, and they have contacted Gopher State One Call (GSOC) to file a locate request. When someone files a locate request with GSOC, we notify the facility operators who have underground utilities in the proposed excavation area. These facility operators dispatch locators to the site who mark the location of utilities with different colored flags and paint that correspond to specific utility types. 

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Radon - An Underground Danger

radon gas warning blogIMGStriking an underground pipeline or cable can result in an array of consequences, but did you know that there are non-excavation related underground dangers? One prime example is an odorless, colorless gas named “radon”. “Radon...forms naturally from the decay (breaking down) of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found in different amounts in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air, underground water, and surface water. Radon is present outdoors and indoors. It is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from rivers and lakes. It can be found at higher levels in the air in houses and other buildings, as well as in water from underground sources, such as well water.” 1

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Spring and Summer Safety Tips


Gopher State One Call (GSOC) consistently strives to promote the message of safety to all Minnesotans. Now that the temperatures are rising, it is important to be aware of spring and summer safety concerns. This time of the year often brings warmth and sunshine, but can also bring sunburn, heat exhaustion, and other safety hazards. Learn how to protect yourself with these safety tips:

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April Safe Digging Month - National Recap



On April 7th, 2017, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a safe digging proclamation to help focus public attention on this issue. Mike Mendiola with the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS), a professional in the underground damage prevention industry, arranged the signing. The proclamation encourages everyone to contact Gopher State One Call (GSOC) at least 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, before any excavation project to prevent damage to underground utilities, injuries, and the disruption of essential services. 

In recognition of NSDM, GSOC partnered with the Minnesota Regional Common Ground Alliance (MNCGA) and the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS) to host 32 damage prevention meetings around the state that emphasized the need to practice safe digging, which starts with a “call or click” to GSOC. In addition, GSOC offered ITIC training webinars every Wednesday in April to help train excavators on the online ticketing tool that is available to them.  

Read more to see what our damage prevention partners across the country did to celebrate NSDM in their respective states. 

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Visit Staking University at GSOC

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On May 22-23, 2017, Gopher State One Call (GSOC) will host a two-day Locator Certification Seminar (LCS) taught by a Staking University (Staking U) instructor. Founded in 1999, Staking U established the first year-round training program to educate and certify locators on locating equipment and best practices.

The LCS will include classroom and outdoor presentations intended to teach Minnesota locators:

  • Superior troubleshooting techniques.
  • Skills to help them consistently provide accurate and complete utility locations.
  • A mastery of locating equipment; and,
  • The competencies required to pass Staking U’s locator certification test.

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Upcoming Events

ITIC'S New Interface Webinar

03/29/2023 - 03/29/2023

ITIC'S New Interface Webinar

04/05/2023 - 04/05/2023

ITIC'S New Interface Webinar

04/12/2023 - 04/12/2023