Our most frequently asked questions are listed below. If you would like further explanation, please contact us via one of these options:

You should always contact OHIO811 before any type of excavation, regardless of depth. An excavation is:

…the use of hand tools, powered equipment, or explosives to move earth, rock, or other materials in order to penetrate or bore or drill into the earth, or to demolish any structure whether or not it is intended that the demolition will disturb the earth.

Ohio Revised Code: 3781.25 (I)

Re-markings are only necessary if:

    • The excavation did not commence within ...ten working days… – Ohio Revised Code: 3781.28 (A)
    • The markings …are destroyed or removed before excavation is completed, the excavator shall notify the utility through the protection service that the markings have been destroyed or removed, and the utility shall remark the facilities in accordance with section 3781.29 of the Revised Code. Ohio Revised Code: 3781.31 (B)
    • Notice of actual commencement of excavation or removal or markings
    • If the crew leaves the job site for any number of consecutive days, for safety purposes it is recommended that the lines be remarked before any additional excavation commences. Never remark the lines yourself. Contact OHIO811 to have underground utility facilities remarked by the facility owners.
    • (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. – Ohio Revised Code: 3781.28

* Please note that the Ohio Revised Code defines excavator as …the person or persons responsible for making the actual excavation (Ohio Revised Code 3781.25 (K)). We advise the actual excavator to submit their dig notification request to OHIO811, receive their reference number and wait the required 48 hours (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before excavation to be compliant with Ohio law.*

If you are not prepared with the necessary information the Customer Service Representative may be forced to ask you to call back.

You should contact OHIO811 at least 48 hours but no more than ten working days, excluding weekends and legal holidays before commencing excavation.

…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.

Ohio Revised Code: 3781.28 (A)

There is no fee for the OHIO811 member facility owner companies to mark their lines. However, if you have privately owned lines and the member facility owner does not mark them, then it would be your responsibility to have those lines marked and you would need to contact a locating service to do so. The charges for locating services differ.

OHIO811 itself does not locate or mark underground facilities. Locating and marking of facilities is the responsibility of the facility owners.

Each OHIO811 member facility owners shall …locate and mark its underground utility facilities at the excavation site… Ohio Revised Code: 3781.29 (A1). However, some utility companies use contract locating services which will mark the utility’s facilities for them.

OHIO811 is a notification center and not a line locating service.

Yes, it is the law to call before digging even if you also need to call for private markings.

…the excavator shall notify a protection service of the location of the excavation site and the date on which excavation is planned to commence.

Ohio Revised Code: 3781.28 (A)

There is no need for you to be present during the markings, unless you have a specific question for the locator or if you need to grant them access to your property. Please make sure to communicate any instruction or the need to be present, when you submit your notification through OHIO811.

It is recommended that … an excavator shall define and premark the approximate location…in white… Ohio Revised Code: 3781.29 (D), to assist the locators marking the intended dig area.

In addition to flags or paint, OHIO811 member facility owner companies use Positive Response included in the new legislation, which became effective March 27, 2013, to close the communication loop. Positive Response allows each facility owner to communicate to the excavator the status of their underground utility locate request.  You can check the Positive Response of your locate request here or by calling 800-445-3894.

View the Ohio Revised Code 3781.26 (D) for direct information.

If the following criteria are met, it is not necessary to Premark your proposed digging site in white:

    1. If a precise location is given (address – what side of the property, etc.)
    2. The excavator and the affected utility have had an on-site pre-construction meeting for the purpose of premarking the excavation site
    3. The excavation involves replacing a pole that is within five feet of the location of an existing pole.
    4. Premarking by the excavator would clearly interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic control.

Ohio Revised Code: 3781.29 (F)

An excavator can begin excavation after waiting the required 48 hours from the time of the call and must also start the excavation within ten working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays).

For more exact information, please visit Ohio Revised Code: 3781.28 (A)

The ten days begin on the date and time the locate request is submitted. This does not include weekends or legal holidays. icket is called in and not the date you start digging. This does not include weekends or legal holidays.

For more exact information, please visit Ohio Revised Code: 3781.28 (A)

Our Positive Response system allows each member facility owner to communicate to the excavator the status of their locate request.

Positive Response can be checked here or by calling 800-445-3894.

If a utility does not mark its underground utility facilities or contact the excavator within that time, the utility is deemed to have given notice that it does not have any facilities at the excavation site.

Ohio Revised Code: 3781.29(A)

Each utility shall locate and mark the approximate location of its underground utility facilities at the excavation site. Ohio Revised Code: 3781.29 (A). They may not mark service lines that were privately installed. It would be the property owner’s responsibility to have these lines located.

There is no set required depth of underground lines in the state of Ohio. Lines may originally be buried at a particular depth, but due to erosion, and/or grading, they may be more shallow or deep than the original placement.

…any indications of the depth of the facility shall be treated as estimates only. Ohio Revised Code: 3781.29 (B)

The tolerance zone is …the site of the underground utility facility including the width of the underground utility facility plus eighteen inches on each side of the facility. Ohio Revised Code: 3781.25 (E)  If no width of the facility is given by the utility, you are to assume 2 inches. Any excavation within the tolerance zone should be conducted …in a careful , prudent, and nondestructive manner, when necessary, in order to prevent damage – Ohio Revised Code: 3781.30 (A)

When a caller states they have an EMERGENCY NOTICE OF EXCAVATION, only the following criteria constitutes a true EMERGENCY and should be prioritized as an EMERGENCY when the ticket is taken:

    • …an unexpected occurrence causing a disruption or damage to an underground utility facility that requires immediate repair or a situation that creates a clear and imminent danger that demands immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of or damage to life, health, property, or essential public services. – Ohio Revised Code: 3781.25 (V)
    • …a utility that is making an emergency repair to its own underground utility system or a governmental entity making an underground emergency repair to traffic control devices, as defined in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code… Ohio Revised Code: 3781.28 (F)

To constitute a true EMERGENCY, the excavation work must begin immediately which includes a crew is on-site, en route or mobilizing.

If the Customer Service Representative determines the callers’ information does not fulfill the definition of a true EMERGENCY but, the caller insists, even after an explanation, the following comment will be added to the notification request:

CALLER STATES THIS IS AN EMERGENCY

The date and time the work will begin will be entered, and the excavation notice will be transmitted as an Insufficient Notice and not as an Emergency Notice.