Being prepared before you dig is essential to your
safety and others working with you. Always, always,
always have your underground utilities (electric,
gas, etc.) located before digging to avoid making
contact with them.
State power line locating services only
locate underground lines owned by the utility.
Member-owned underground lines (most often from the
transformer to the home) are not included in this
service. A member must call a private locating
To have utility-owned underground lines located,
In Minnesota call Gopher State One Call 48 hours
before you dig. It's the law. 1-800-252-1166
Gopher State One Call will arrange to locate
underground facilities such as electric, gas,
telephone, etc. To learn more about Gopher State One
Call, go to
In Wisconsin call the Digger's Hotline at
It's Free. Call Diggers Hotline three working
days before you begin your project to have buried
lines beneath your jobsite located. But if you
damage a buried facility without a call to Diggers
Hotline, you will be financially responsible for the
damage, as well as a fine of up to $2,000.
It's Easy. Protect yourself from putting a
shovel through a buried electric line or from
damaging a gas pipeline by calling Diggers Hotline
It's THE LAW. Wisconsin Statute 182.0175
requires all excavators - including homeowners and
construction contractors to contact Diggers Hotline
at least three working days before starting the
Never rely solely on utility maps. They could be
outdated and the markings may be off.
Wait for the site to be marked. Respect all
markings. Dig with care.
Reading Locator Flags
Locator flags are placed within paint marks. If you
find flags outside the borders of locator markings,
someone may have tampered with them. Contact us
right away. The following charts explain the various
meanings of locator flags for your reference.
Minnesota - Gopher State One Call Flags:
Wisconsin - Digger's Hotline:
Visit their site for more information at
Flags and locator marks indicate the direction the
utility is running. But they do not tell you how
deep it is buried. The only way you can find out -
is to carefully expose it yourself.
- Create a tolerance
zone to provide a margin of error in case the
locator marks are slightly off.
- A tolerance zone is
the width of an underground utility plus a
specified tolerance distance on both sides of
- Do not use
power-digging equipment within this zone.
- Vacuum excavators can
be used safely to expose buried utilities
without harming them. Just make sure the
operator is trained to use this specific
- Hand digging is the
safest way to see how deep underground utilities
Be sure to:
- Never use pointed
shovels or implements.
- Use a blunt-nosed
shovel to loosen dirt and a regular shovel to
- Dig at an angle so
the shovel is parallel to the underground
- For directional
drilling, make sure the drill head is at least
three feet away from any utility.
- Always calibrate the
bore head and locating device before each job.
- Dig potholes so you
can visually see the drill head.