It is vital, and required by law, that when any type of excavation occurs, the excavation activity is reported two business days in advance to the state’s One Call Center. This allows time for utility companies to visit the dig site and mark the presence of any underground facilities. Failure to report excavation ahead of time and wait to dig until facilities are marked can result in fines against a person or company, accidents, explosions, or even injuries or death.
There are two ways to report excavation activity in Minnesota. You can visit www.gopherstateonecall.org and enter your dig information online, or you can dial 811 and speak to a phone representative. Online information can be entered 24 hours a day. Click here to view Gopher State One Call’s call center hours.
Once you have submitted your dig information to Gopher State One Call, any organization with underground facilities near the dig site will review where any underground lines may be. If it is determined there are underground facilities in or near the dig site, a locator will visit the site to mark their location. Colored paint or flags are used to mark the location of underground facilities. The color of the marking signifies the type of facility that is underground. The American Public Works Association provides a color code chart that is used to mark all underground facilities.
APWA Color Code Chart
Utility organizations that are asked to review their underground facilities to determine if any are near the dig site are required by law to respond to Gopher State One Call with their findings. Gopher State One Call provides an online search engine for homeowners and excavators to check on the status of their request, and see if any utility companies reported marking or clearing underground facilities at the dig site. To check the status of your dig request click here.