WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Planning to dig? Here's what you need to know…

Calling before you dig is important not only for safety reason, but also because IT'S THE LAW! By law, homeowners should contact O.U.P.S., 8-1-1 or 1-800-362-2764, at least 48 hours but no more than 10 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) or enter it online with e-dig the easy online dig request for homeowners, before beginning any digging project.

ORC Sec. 3781.28.(A) Except as otherwise provided in divisions (C), (D), (E), and (F) of this section, at least forty-eight hours but not more than ten working days before commencing excavation, the excavator shall notify a protection service of the location of the excavation site and the date on which excavation is planned to commence.

*Please note that the Ohio Revised Code defines excavator as “the person or persons responsible for making the actual excavation” (ORC Sec. 3781.25 (K)). Therefore, while O.U.P.S.will not refuse a ticket from any caller, we advise the actual excavator place the call to O.U.P.S., receive their own ticket number and wait the required 48 hours in order to be compliant with Ohio law.*

Some examples include:

  • Landscaping
  • Digging holes for fence posts or a mailbox
  • Anchoring supports for decks and swings sets
  • Planting trees
  • Removing tree roots
  • Driving landscaping stakes into the ground
  • Installing a retainer wall

Remember, even if your digging project is small, it's always best to call!

Follow these steps for safe digging…

  1. Call O.U.P.S., 8-1-1 or 1-800-362-2764, at least 48 hours but no more than 10 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) or enter it online with e-dig the easy online dig request for homeowners, before beginning any landscape or digging project on your property. For your convenience, O.U.P.S. accepts calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.

  2. Have the following information handy when you call:
    • Your county, city or township
    • Digging location (street address and nearest cross street)
    • Type and extent of work (front/rear/both sides of property)
    • Digging start date and time

  3. Outline the area in which you plan to dig with white paint or flags.

  4. Wait until lines are marked before digging. Once we notify member utility companies with underground lines in your area, they will have 48 hours (excluding weekends and legal holidays) to mark their lines with colored flags, stakes or paint.

  5. Once your property is marked, proceed with care, allowing at least an 18 inch "tolerance" zone on either side of the marked utility line<.li>

  6. Do not remove flags, stakes or paint marks until you are finished digging. Make sure pets and young children do not disrupt or remove markers.

  7. Also call the Ohio Oil & Gas Producers Underground Protection Service at 800-925-0988 or 614-715-2984 or visit www.ogpups.org.

Utility Color Codes…

When utility company representatives mark a location, they use colored flags and/or paint to identify the type of underground service

 

 

Red - Electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables 

 

Yellow - Gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials

 

Orange - Communication, alarm or signal lines, cables or conduit 

 

Blue - Potable water 

 

Purple - Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines 

 

Green - Sewers and drain lines 

 

Pink - Temporary survey markings 

 

White - Proposed excavating 

 

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 as well as O.U.P.S., even if there appears to be no damage. Not all damages can be detected by the naked eye.

Do you know what's below?

Calling O.U.P.S. before you dig is the only way to determine the exact location of a utility line or underground structure.

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
Copyright 2014 Ohio Utilities Protection Service