Homeowner’s Guide

Why Should I Call Before I Dig?

  1. IT’S SMART! By planning ahead and taking this important step, you protect yourself and your utility services.
  2. IT’S FREE! Getting your utility lines marked is free for you; it is a service paid for by your utility providers. On the other hand, damaging a utility line without calling incurs financial responsibility for repairs and may also result in a fine of up to $10,000.
  3. IT’S EASY! Call 811 or submit your request online, wait for the marks, and then dig without worry!
  4. IT’S THE LAW! Idaho State Code, Chapter 22, Sections 55-2201 to 55-2212, requires anyone digging, including homeowners, to contact the one-number notification system and allow utility providers adequate time to mark their lines before excavation can begin.

When Should I Call?

  1. For the initial request, contact DIGLINE more than two (2) business days but no more than ten (10) business days before the excavation will begin. The locators have two (2) business days after the request date to complete a standard ticket.
    • For example, if the request is processed on a Monday, the locators will have the entirety of Tuesday and Wednesday to complete marking. Therefore, the marks should be finished before 12 a.m. Thursday, and you should be clear to dig as early on Thursday morning as you like.
    • If the request is processed on a Wednesday, the locators should be done before Saturday morning.
    • If the request is processed on a Friday, the locators should be done before the following Wednesday morning.
  2. If, after the allotted locate time has passed, you notice a utility has failed to mark its lines, call immediately.
  3. If excavation will continue beyond 21 days from the initial request, call back on day 18 or 19 so you will always have a valid ticket.
  4. If the marks get destroyed, call to get the lines remarked before continuing excavation.

What Happens After the Call?

  1. When your request is processed, DIGLINE sends a locate request ticket to its member utilities in the area of your excavation.
  2. Each ticket has a unique number. Keep the ticket number you receive from DIGLINE. This number proves you have a valid locate request, and it will be very helpful if you need to call back.
  3. The notified utilities send their employees or a contract locating company to mark their underground lines with paint or flags. Each notified utility should mark its lines with a water-soluble paint in that utility’s designated color. Note, however, that any private lines—such as water and sewer lines on private property—will not be marked.
  4. For a standard locate request, locators have two (2) business days after the request date to complete the marks. Emergency requests can be marked sooner.
  5. These marks are valid for 21 days after the request date, if the site conditions have not changed. If the markings have been destroyed, please call DIGLINE again to have them remarked. Remember that you will need to wait an additional 2 business days for the marks. If you can, maintain the marks until you are done with your project.

How Do I Dig Safely?

  1. After all utilities have been marked and the ticket’s Locate By time has passed, you can begin your project.
  2. If you need to dig within 24 inches of the marks, Idaho Statute requires hand-digging with a shovel or other hand implement or soft-digging with air or water pressure. Do not use any power tools, e.g., post-hole augers or trenchers.
  3. If you expose a utility line, it is your responsibility to protect it. If there is any damage of any kind, call the affected utility so they can come out to inspect and repair the damage.
  4. Maintain the marks throughout excavation, and call DIGLINE to update your ticket if work will continue beyond 21 days from the initial request.
  5. If you find paint marks or flags on your property and you did not call DIGLINE, leave the marks or flags in place. They may be for a professional excavation in your area.