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You’re planning on digging this summer? Wait! You need to prepare to dig first!

Apr 15, 2020, 2:20 PM | Updated: Sep 19, 2022, 4:17 pm
Photo: Getty Images...
Photo: Getty Images

This article about how you need to prepare to dig is sponsored by Blue Stakes of Utah 811.


Right now is the perfect time to do some work around the house and on your property. But have you taken the necessary precautions before you dig?

Prepare to Dig

Photo: Getty Images

Take the time to prepare to dig, get the latest information about your excavation site, and visually inspect it. Then, you can check out the Excavators’ Guide and Utah LawThe Excavators’ Guide provides guidelines for the Locate Request process.  The Utah State Law is the current “Damage to Underground Utility Facilities Act.”  This includes Excavator responsibilities and the Utility Facility Owners’ responsibilities.

The address you provide on your Location Request is required to be physically posted on site. So make sure the address with the street name is posted. If not, find a way to post the address on the property. And to help you prepare, get some specific marking instruction for the dig site. These can be general instructions or specific instructions for intermittent dig locations. White flags, white paint or stakes can help with this.

Time it Right

clocks with black metal frames

Photo: Getty Images

Make sure to submit a ticket request to Blue Stakes of Utah 811 two business days before the beginning of your excavation.  From the time of day you submit your request, the Locate Request will expire within 14 calendar days. If you will not be excavating within that time frame, you should wait to make the request closer to when you are ready to begin digging.

This is a good opportunity to pay attention to the rules. It can be frustrating to both property owners and the utility companies doing the marking as excessive marking or marking when no excavation is currently taking place. And updating a ticket can mean an extra trip for the utility companies when it isn’t needed.

Submit a Request

Photo: Getty Images

Start by submitting your Locate Request online or just call 811. It’s the law. And it’s a free service! Be prepared to provide the best contact information as well as many details as you can.  Make sure to provide the best phone numbers to contact so that questions and concerns can be answered quickly.  This will help to prevent delays in your project. The details you’ll also need to include will be the specific type of work your doing, marking instructions, and whether you will be excavating any roads. Don’t put that you are excavating roads if you aren’t. And you can schedule a Meet ticket if the area is too hard to explain by calling 811. More details can be found at the Blue Stakes website. 

Wait, Locate, and Dig!

Photo: Getty Images

After you’ve entered all the necessary information and the ticket is processed online or over-the-phone, the excavator doing the digging will get an email or text confirmation. A request is automatically submitted to the utility/facility owner. After two business days, you should see the markings. If not call 811 and request a second notice. To see the full Locate Request, check the Electronic Positive Response. Finally, you can now dig safely around those markings AND know where not to dig!

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You’re planning on digging this summer? Wait! You need to prepare to dig first!