FAQ

Click to view answers

Diggers Hotline is Wisconsin's statewide one-call notification system that was developed in order to provide excavators and the general public the ability to inform multiple owners of underground facilities of excavation with a single call.

Diggers Hotline is a not-for-profit independent company that processes information from excavators and passes that information on to affected utilities. Diggers Hotline does not locate buried facilities in the field.

Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 requires you to notify Diggers Hotline before you excavate, grade, trench, dig, drill, augur, tunnel, scrape, plow cable or pipe. Excavation, according to the law, means anything that moves, removes or displaces earth rock or other material in or on the ground.

It is very important to wait until the legal start date and time assigned. Beginning work earlier can result in forfeiture of your rights and protections granted under Wisconsin Statute 182.0175. Diggers Hotline will issue the earliest legal start date possible, usually three business days after you contact Diggers Hotline.

A ticket remains valid for the life of your project if work begins within 10 calendar days of the legal start date and time and the work is not interrupted for more than 10 days and the locate marks are still intact. It is the excavator's responsibility to get the marks refreshed, when needed.

A ticket becomes invalid only if the work did not begin within 10 calendar days of the start date and time, or has been interrupted for more than 10 calendar days, or the locate marks are missing or need refreshing.

You may request a relocate after an original locate request ticket has been placed and one of the following conditions exists:

  • Missing or disturbed locate markings.
  • Work did not begin within 10 days of the legal start date.
  • Work was interrupted for more than 10 days.

The original ticket number is required to obtain a relocate. If the original ticket is invalid, it will take three more business days for the relocate request to be filled. For valid tickets, if a crew is on site, facility owners will try to contact you within one hour to let you know the status of your relocate. The facility owners will then generally relocate within four hours. If the crew is not on site, the locators will relocate within 24 hours.

Utility owners have no control over depth variation caused by human interference, weather, or other circumstances. As a result, utilities will only mark the location, not the depth of buried facilities.

Locating is not an exact science, and, therefore, the actual location of the facility could vary from the position of the marks. Also, state law mandates an 18 inch buffer zone on each side of a marked facility. No mechanized equipment can be used within this buffer zone; only hand digging is allowed.

Planning tickets can be used to find out the location of underground facilities when excavation is not in the immediate future, or excavation is just in the "planning" stage. Members of Diggers Hotline will respond to a planning ticket within 10 days after receipt of the notice by conducting field markings, providing records and taking other appropriate responses.

According to the state law, the excavator must notify the one-call center, not the homeowner for whom the work is being done.

If you are a contractor, it is your legal duty to call Diggers Hotline; it is not the responsibility of your customer.

Once you are done with the job, be sure to remove the flag markers. It is your responsibility to eliminate the flags, as the utilities or their contract locators will not return to your jobsite to do this.

Utility locating is a service which identifies underground facilities at a given location. Prior to any digging or construction, an excavator needs to call or email a locate request to Diggers Hotline to have the utility lines located at the site of the proposed digging or construction. In order to ensure that the excavator does not damage or break any of the lines, the utility owner or their contract locating company will mark the ground with paint and/or flags to show where utility lines are located. These locate marks protect the integrity of each the utility company's plant, reduce potential injuries, accidents, and damage to the utilities.

A locator is a field technician who actually locates and marks the ground to note where facility lines are located. He or she uses special equipment to pick up a signal and determine where the lines are buried. Then, the locator sprays the ground to mark where various utility lines are located.

GLS Utility as well as many other utility locating companies have a ticket management system which allows for the receipt of locate requests/tickets from State One Call Centers or directly from each utility so they can be tracked, monitored, and distributed to field technicians for completion.. Technicians and their supervisors preview and organize their work while in the field, eliminating non-value added drive-time and paper handling. Reclaiming lost time allows a greater opportunity for supervisors and technicians to work together to improve the other key metric of locating - quality.

A private facility is a facility that is not owned by a utility or other member of Diggers Hotline; they are owned by homeowners or private businesses who are not required to be members of Diggers Hotline and will not be notified of your intent to dig. As a result, these lines will not be marked after a locate request is processed. Examples of private facilities include propane, electric, gas and/or communications facilities owned by a business or homeowner. Click here to request a private locate.

It is the excavator's duty to notify the owners of private facilities of their intent to dig.

Damages occur when an excavator hits a utility line upon digging. This typically happens when:

  • an excavator does not call in a locate request before digging
  • facilities are improperly located by the utility owner or the locate company
  • an excavator does not follow the marks provided by the utility owner or the locate company

Damages can result in interruption of service and in some cases serious injury or loss of life and/or property. As a safety precaution, it is always important to call Diggers Hotline to have facilities located prior to digging.

American Public Works Association Uniform Color Code

RED

Electric power lines, cables or conduits, and lighting cables.

YELLOW

Gas, oil, steam, petroleum or other hazardous liquid or gaseous materials.

ORANGE

Communications, cable TV, alarm or signal lines, cables, or conduits.

BLUE

Water, irrigation, and slurry lines.

GREEN

Sewers, storm sewer facilities, or other drain lines.

WHITE

Proposed excavation.

PINK

Temporary survey markings.

PURPLE

Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines.