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HOW 811 WORKS

Contact Arizona 811 from anywhere in Arizona at least two full working days prior to digging. Call 811 and you’ll be connected with the Arizona 811 Center. Tell the Locate Specialist where you plan to dig and what type of work you’re doing, and the affected local utility companies will be notified. They’ll send a locator to mark the underground lines, pipes and cables at your dig site so you’ll know what’s below – and be able to dig safely. You can also make your 811 ticket request online using E-Stake.

You want your project to be a success. Don’t forget the most important first step: Contacting Arizona 811 before you dig. Smart, safe digging is no accident. Always contact Arizona 811 before work begins so underground utilities are located and marked.

Homeowners, and even some professional excavators, still make risky assumptions about whether they need to have utility lines marked. Don’t risk it! It’s the law – and it’s critical to preventing serious injuries and damage to the utilities we all rely on every day.

  • Could you make it through your day without electricity, water, your telephone or mobile device?
  • Do you really want to risk your own life, and the lives of others, by accidentally striking an electric or gas line?

Protect yourself and your family, or co-workers at a job site. Prevent fines, as well as costly damages and service interruptions, by knowing what’s below before digging begins.

By the way, digging is just one of the many activities that requires you to contact Arizona 811 first. By law, you must contact Arizona 811 before “… any operation in which earth, rock, or other material in the ground is moved, removed or otherwise displaced by means or use of any tools, equipment or explosives and includes, without limitation, grading, trenching, digging, ditching, drilling, auguring, boring, tunneling, scraping, cable or pipe plowing and driving.”

Wow! If your job calls for any of these activities, call 811 or use E-Stake to create your request online.

Good job – you’ve taken the first step toward safe digging by contacting Arizona 811.

What happens next?

Arizona 811 identified the facility owners/operators that have utilities buried in and around the dig site you identified. Now that they know about your digging plans, they’ll send professional locators to the site to identify where facilities are buried and mark them with paint or flags. In Arizona, locators have two full working days to respond (that excludes weekends and state holidays, so plan accordingly).
Be sure to check your dig site so you can be certain that all of the utility owners/operators listed on your ticket have responded. You’ll begin to see marks at your dig site, either where facilities or buried or indicating there are no conflicts. You might also be contacted by telephone or email.

Just remember: Wait until you receive responses from every single utility listed on your ticket! If the two full working days have passed and not all utilities listed on your ticket have responded, or if you have any questions about the marks or the process, call 811.

So you contacted Arizona 811 before digging and then waited two full working days for buried cables, lines and pipes to be marked. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Well, almost time …

 

Utility locators – possibly from multiple companies and local municipalities – have been to the dig site you identified and marked the location of underground facilities with paint or flags, or informed you they have nothing in conflict. Still, Arizona 811 advises you to double-check the dig site before proceeding with your project. If any of the utilities listed on your 811 ticket have not responded after two working days, or if you don’t understand the marks, call 811. DO NOT DIG until every utility listed on the ticket has responded!

As you excavate, make sure you always dig around the marks, not on them. In Arizona you are required by law to use only hand tools within two feet (24 inches) of marked facilities. Even when hand digging, use extreme caution. Some utility lines might be very shallow and an unintended shovel thrust can bring you right back to square one – facing potentially dangerous or costly consequences. Also:

  • If you accidentally strike a line, cable or pipe stop digging and call the utility owner/operator right away. If you don’t know who owns or operates the facility you struck, call 811 for assistance. Never try to repair the facility yourself. Damage that appears minor initially can have catastrophic consequences later.
  • Maintain your marks for the duration of your project. Arizona law says they must remain “visible and valid” for 15 working days. If any paint marks or flags are moved, damaged or destroyed at any time, or if your project exceeds 15 working days, call 811 to have your marks refreshed.
  • Remember that Arizona 811 is just three digits away. Call 811 if you have questions or need assistance.

Arizona 811 thanks you for digging safely and hopes you will encourage others to do the same. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s the law. More importantly, it keeps you and others safe and protects the vital utilities we all rely on every day. Safe digging is no accident, so be sure to know what’s below!

41

YEARS IN BUSINESS

31

EMPLOYEES

500,000

INCOMING LOCATE-REQUEST TICKETS PER YEAR

3,050,000

NOTIFICATIONS TO UNDERGROUND FACILITY OWNERS/OPERATORS PER YEAR

Arizona 811 Provides free damage prevention and safety training state wide year round.

Who We Are

Arizona 811 is committed to preventing life-threatening injuries and protecting the vital utilities we all rely on every day. A non-profit communication center, Arizona 811 facilitates all pre-excavation/digging notification services in Arizona and provides stakeholder education statewide in accordance with statutory requirements. Arizona 811’s services are free and available statewide.

Every project that requires digging starts with us

Did you know that Arizona 811 processes about half a million utility-location requests every year? From planting a tree to building a major league sports complex, no project is possible without first contacting Arizona 811.

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