If you’re planning to dig on your property, submitting a ticket online with Exactix Home or calling 811 can help you avoid hitting underground utility lines, keeping you and your neighborhood safe. Below are five steps to follow when working with Indiana 811 to notify the member utility operators in your area of your intent to dig. If you have any questions or concerns during the process, don’t hesitate to call Indiana 811 at 811. We are open 24/7 to take your call or receive your online request.

1. Plan Your Project

Before you contact Indiana 811, you will need to know specific details about where you plan to dig, including the county, township, street address, nearest intersecting street and location on the property. You will also need the name and phone number of the person who will be doing the digging. We recommend you mark the designated area with white paint or flags, so the member utility operators know where you plan to excavate.

2. Contact Indiana 811

You can request underground facility markings online via Exactix Home or by phone at 811. After contacting Indiana 811, you will be given a ticket number and a list of all the member utilities that will be notified. You will need to contact any non-member utilities yourself. 

3. Wait for the Marks

You must contact 811 at least two full working days prior to excavation to give the member utilities enough time to mark the approximate location of their underground utilities on your property. “Working day” means every day except Saturday, Sunday, and state and national legal holidays. If tickets are submitted after 7am ET on a working day, that day will not be counted in the notice given to our Member Utilities. All times are in ET. Each line will be marked in the color that corresponds to the appropriate utility and can be referenced on our APWA color code guide

4. Confirm the Marks

Once the two full working days have passed, confirm that all utility operators have visited the property by comparing the various colors of the marks to the list of utilities provided by Indiana 811. If the utility operator’s facilities are not in conflict within the designated area, a notification shall be made to the person who submitted the locate request. Pipeline facility operators are required to use Indiana 811’s Positive Response System. Members who operate other facility types may communicate by marking the designated area or by sending communication via phone, fax, email or through Indiana 811’s Positive Response System. For example, if electric is not in conflict, then the utility operator may write “OK” with red paint in the designated area.

  • To check Indiana 811’s Positive Response system:
    • If you have an Exactix Pro account, log in to see the status of your requests from the Responses tab from within the ticket (see screenshot below).
    • If you do not have an Exactix Pro account but want to see the status of a request, enter the ticket number and phone number using this tool then click on the Responses tab from within the ticket (see screenshot below).

5. Dig with Care

Now that the utility lines are marked, or you’ve been notified that they aren’t in conflict, you can begin digging with care. Regulations mandate a two-foot tolerance zone on either side of the marks which means all outer limits of the underground facility, including above, below, and in a full radius surrounding the underground facility. In the tolerance zone, only certain types of excavation are allowed, such as only being permitted to dig with hand tools. The size of the tolerance zone will depend on the size of the underground facility, which is sometimes noted by the utility locating technicians.

For example, if a water line is marked as six inches wide, the tolerance zone on all sides of the line is two feet three inches from the mark. You will only want to use mechanical equipment outside of the zone after you have exposed the line(s) by safely digging with hand tools. Learn more by reading the Indiana Dig Law and the IURC Rulemaking.