Digging can be an expensive and potentially dangerous venture. Underground facilities are extremely vulnerable to damage during any type of excavating. Each year millions of dollars in property damage, personal injuries and even loss of life occur because of careless digging, boring and blasting when underground facilities were not located prior to excavating. With each passing year, more and more lines are being installed and the problems increase for everyone involved.
This important issue prompted the founding of Indiana 811 in 1981 by the owners and operators of underground facilities in the state of Indiana. The organization was created as a means of reducing damage to those facilities and to promote public safety by reducing the number of damage incidents statewide. Indiana 811 began its operations on October 1, 1981 with seven principal utility members. Since that date, Indiana 811 membership has since grown to over 1,000 members.
Indiana 811 is a non-profit corporation made up of operators of underground facilities within the State of Indiana. It is a free statewide system, designed to save time, money, costly lawsuits, and dramatically reduce accidental dig-ins.
Indiana’s “Call Before You Dig” law (IC 8-1-26) requires everyone that digs to contact Indiana 811 at least two full working days before starting their project. Anyone who digs should contact Indiana 811 first, whether it is to plant a tree, put in a new fence or children’s play set, or dig for any other reason. In 2003, during a General Assembly legislative session, officials revised the “Call Before You Dig” law and made it a requirement that all owners and operators of underground facilities become a member of Indiana 811. This law was again enhanced in 2009 to add penalties for certain infractions.
Today, Indiana 811 is comprised of industry leaders who specialize in damage prevention. A free call to 811 or online submission on our website (professional excavators only) can prevent costly damages, and even loss of life. After submitting a locate request, an Indiana 811 representative will inform the individual making the request, which members are being notified. For safety reasons, anyone that we do not mention that you are aware of, that have buried facilities near your project, you should contact directly.
The information is promptly transmitted to all of our involved member companies. Each notified member will dispatch a line locator to the proposed site of excavation, to mark the approximate location of underground lines with color-coded marks, stakes or flags. Some companies may send you an all clear message or mark OK on the ground. Once all lines have been marked or determined not to pose a conflict to your excavation plans, it is safe to dig carefully around the marks.
There is a 2 foot hand dig zone on either side of the marked buried facility that extreme care must be taken, and only hand or vacuum excavation is allowed in this zone.
1. Call 811, 1-800-382-5544
2. Professional Excavators may make a request on line.
3. Wait for member facility owners/operators to mark the proposed excavation site.
4. Respect the marks.
5. Dig with care.