I’m doing simple projects on my property. Do I need to contact 811?
Yes! You must contact Kentucky 811 for all digging projects, such as installing mailboxes, fences or landscaping.
How far in advance should I contact Kentucky 811?
You must contact 811 two full working days, or more depending on the size and scope of the project, prior to excavation to give the member utilities enough time to mark the approximate location of their underground utilities and provide a positive response. Working day means every day, except Saturday, Sunday, and holidays established by federal or state statute from 12:01 a.m. eastern time until 12 midnight eastern time, excluding the day the locate request was made.
Is there a fee to have utility lines marked on my property?
Using Kentucky’s 811 services is always free. However, if you have underground utilities that are not owned by Kentucky 811 members, such as an electric or water line to your pool or lawn sprinkler systems, you will need to contact a private utility locator company to locate those lines. These companies may charge a fee to locate private utilities on your property. Click here for more information on private locates.
I hired a contractor or landscaper to do a digging project on my property. Do I still need to contact Kentucky 811?
Your contractor is responsible for contacting 811. Before any excavation takes place, you should confirm that they have contacted 811 and any non-member utilities to request that the approximate location of the buried utilities be marked with flags or paint.
I am only digging in one area and don’t want my entire yard marked. How do I prevent this?
If you’re only digging on a portion of your property, be sure to outline the area where you plan to dig in white paint or white flags.
What do the marks/flags in my yard mean?
Each color of paint/flag represents a unique type of underground utility. The APWA color code guide can tell you which colors indicate which type of utility. Avoid digging near buried utilities if possible. If you must dig within 24” of utility marks/flags, be sure to dig with care.
Do I need to notify 811 even if I am digging in an area that has previously been marked?
Yes, you need to submit a new ticket each time you want to dig. Factors like erosion and plant growth can alter the location of buried facility lines. It is also possible that utility companies have added new lines since your property was last marked.
What is positive response?
“Positive Response” is when the utility provides communication of the status (“Marked,” “Clear,” etc.) of a locate request back to the excavator after they determine if their underground facilities are close to the excavation site. The Positive Response system provided by Kentucky 811 efficiently enhances the overall process and reduces the need for additional notices.
“Through the One Call System” means the status is communicated to Kentucky 811 instead of directly to the excavator. “Through the One Call System” has advantages to both the utility company and excavator.
The benefits of a utility providing Positive Response to the One Call Center are:
- A record of the response at the One Call Center. This is helpful when there are questions about a response, especially during a dispute.
- Turning the Positive Response communication into a safety checklist at the excavation site. “Marked” with no corresponding color-coded paint, flags or chalk can indicate that investigation is warranted before excavation begins.
Although Kentucky 811 law does not mandate Positive Response Through the One Call Center, it is supported by Kentucky 811 with ITIC.
Once you create your locate request, you can view the status at any time by visiting the Kentucky 811 Ticket Search and Status. You will also receive an email when the excavation start date and time passes showing the current positive response status for all notified members.
What are the positive response codes used through the one call system?
ITIC supports the following response codes:
1 – Marked – Does conflict — underground facilities have been marked.
1A – Marked with Exceptions – High-profile utility in conflict. Utility owner will attempt to contact you to schedule site surveillance.
1B – Marked with Exceptions – High-priority subsurface installation in conflict. Excavator MUST notify the member of the excavation or demolition start date and time.
2 – Clear – No underground facilities are in the area where the excavation will take place.
3A – Unmarked – Locate technician could not gain access to property. Call 811 to schedule access.
3B – Unmarked – Incorrect address information. Call 811 to verify the information on the ticket.
3C – Unmarked – Marking delay requested by locate technician and agreed to by excavator per agreement. Excavation site is unmarked. The locate technician cannot mark within two full working days. The excavator was contacted, and a new deadline was scheduled.
3D – Unmarked – Locate instructions are unclear. Call 811 to clarify where on the property you will be excavating and need the underground facilities located.
3E – Unmarked – The excavator has performed the excavation prior to the locator’s arrival.
3F – Unmarked – Line is “untonable” and utility has been notified to the resolve issue.
4 – Private Line – This is a private line, and it is not the responsibility of the members of 811 to locate private facilities.
The member utilities have responded. Now, where should I dig?
Now that the member utilities have responded that their facilities have been marked or are not in conflict, you can begin digging with care. Kentucky law defines the tolerance zone as a strip of land at least four (4) feet wide but not wider than the width of the underground facility plus two (2) feet on either side of the outer limits of the facility. When excavation or demolition is necessary within the tolerance zone, the excavator shall hand-dig or use non-intrusive means to avoid damage to the underground facility. There are some exceptions, learn more by reading the Kentucky Dig Law.
I think I hit a utility line. What should I do?
Stop digging immediately. Step away from the area and call 911 if the damage results in the escape of flammable, toxic or corrosive gas or liquid, or if danger is present. After calling 911, notify the utility directly. Lastly, inform Kentucky 811 of the incident.
I have private facilities on my property. What do I do?
Some underground utilities on your property will NOT be marked by Kentucky 811 Members because they are not owned by Kentucky 811 Members. Examples of private facilities include electric or water lines to your pool, lines to septic tanks, electric lines to sheds or landscape lighting, lawn sprinkler systems, invisible pet fencing, and more.
A good general rule of thumb is if the utility runs from the street to the meter, it will be marked. If the utility is installed from the meter to another location on your property, it will not be marked.
Since Member utilities are not responsible for marking private facilities, it is the property owner’s responsibility to contact a private locating company. Visit Private Locates for more information regarding private facilities and companies that will locate them for you for a fee.
Ready to Submit A Ticket?
It’s time to get digging! Once you understand the safe digging process, you’re ready to contact Kentucky 811 to get utilities marked on your property. Submit a ticket with ITIC Lite to get started today!