1.  You’ve made the call to 811 Alaska Digline.  You are off to a Great Start!

2.  You’ve waited the allotted time.  You want to dig within 14 days of the call.

3.  You’ve performed a visual inspection of your work site to check for signs of any unmarked utilities*.

*Note facility owners are only required to mark lines that they own and maintain, not privately installed utilities.  A few examples:  connections to out buildings, lines beyond a pole mounted remote electric meter, private water or sewer lines and in some cases your water and/or sewer connection on private property.  You can hire a private locate company to mark those types of facilities for you.

Now what?

You should see marks similar to the ones shown in the pictures below.

Utility-Locate-Pic Utility-Locate-Pic2

4.  It is best to avoid digging where the buried facilities are indicated if possible.

Should the need arise to dig where they have indicated there are buried facilities, you must respect the Tolerance Zone.

The Tolerance Zone is the amount of space parallel and directly next to the underground pipe or cable.  The paint marks or flags do not necessarily mean that the line is exactly beneath the mark.  Sometimes locate signal distortion can occur during  the locate process.  For safety, you should assume the facility could be anywhere within the tolerance zone.

5. In Alaska, you must use due care and hand dig (or employ other non-intrusive means of excavation) within 24 horizontal inches of the outside dimensions of the facility. TOLERANCE ZONE24

If you are digging to a depth of 10 feet or greater you must hand dig within 30 horizontal inches of the outside dimensions of the facility.  This allows you to manually perform a visual inspection to verify the location of a utility prior to use of power or mechanized equipment outside of the tolerance zone.  Remember if you are exposing a buried facility it is your responsibility to employ necessary precautions to support and prevent damage to the buried utility.  

Treat all buried lines as if they were live.


When to Stop Digging!

Should you discover the locate marks are inaccurate or discover an unmarked facility, STOP DIGGING.  Contact 811 Alaska Digline immediately.  We will ask the facility owner(s) to come back to the site.

If you cause damage to a facility, STOP DIGGING.  Contact the facility owner** to come and assess the facility or perform repairs.  If you do not know who the facility belongs to, contact 811 Alaska Digline for an Emergency Locate.  

**Anytime there is a damage to a pipeline facility you should shut off all ignition sources, clear the area and you must report the damage to the facility owner.  If the damage results in an escape of gas or liquid you must also call 911 Emergency Services as mandated by Federal Law for public safety.