Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get underground facility lines marked, but every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees and shrubs. The depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. Digging without calling can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm you and those around you and potentially result in fines and repair costs. Calling 811 before every digging job gets your underground utility lines marked for free and helps prevent undesired consequences.
Call before you dig – It’s the law!
When preparing for a project that involves digging, it is the law for you to call to have any underground facilities marked at least 48 hours but not more than 10 days prior to the project commencing.
By not calling, you risk:
- Costly property or environmental damage
- Explosion or fire on your property
- Power or utilities services interruptions
- Legal problems
- Injury—or even death
Steps for safe digging:
- Call OGPUPS at 614-715-2984 to determine if there are underground natural gas transmission lines in the proposed project area. Also call O.U.P.S., at 1-800-362-2764 or visit www.oups.org for all other utility lines in the area.
- Have the following information handy when you call:
- Your county
- Your township or municipality (if within city limits)
- A section or lot number – each township is broken into sections or lots, depending on the township. You can find this information by contacting your county engineer’s office.
- Contact any member company with oil & gas lines in the reported area as supplied by OGPUPS.
- All member companies registered with OGPUPS are Limited Basis Participants. Limited Basis Participants, or LBPs, register their facilities by county, township or municipality. They are not notified by OGPUPS. It is the caller’s responsibility to notify them directly. – ORC 3781.26(A)
- The companies contacted with underground facilities in the area have 48 hours to mark the area. The 48 hour notice for underground facility owners to mark excludes Saturdays, Sundays and Legal Holidays. – ORC 3781.28 (A)
- OGPUPS does not mark lines.
- A reference/ticket number will be assigned and used as proof of your call. Record the number and keep it for the duration of your excavation or longer when applicable. – ORC 3781.26 (C)
- Premark the proposed excavation site with white paint, flags or both so the company who will be out to mark the underground facilities will know exactly where you will be digging.
- Wait until the lines are marked by the owner of the underground line before proceeding with digging. Once the property is marked, proceed with care, allowing at least an 18 inch “tolerance” zone on either side of the marking.
If you hit a line…
For your safety you should walk away immediately and take steps to clear the area to protect yourself and your crew. Don’t try to repair or stop a leak yourself or use anything that might create a spark, such as a cell phone.
If a substance starts releasing into the air, such as natural gas, immediately call 9-1-1. For any damaged facility, you should also contact the utility company listed on the nearest marker even if there appears to be no damage. Not all damages can be detected by the naked eye.