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Digging Safely

Hand Exposing:

After utility lines have been marked, you should always expose them by hand to verify their location before using power equipment near them. If you can't find them, please let us know.

Digging Safely Guidelines

Click the PDF links provided below to view or download recommended marking guidelines and samples.

State of Michigan Utility Color Code

What should I do if I see someone digging without marks?

When you see someone digging without first having their utilities located marked, simply call 811 to speak to a Notification System Representative (NSR). Tell them that you would like to place a No Marks ticket. This ticket will only be accepted through the MISS DIG 811 Notification Center; this cannot be placed online through any of our web programs.

What else do I tell them?
The NSR will ask you for the county, city/township/village, address and cross streets. You can provide the name of the excavator if you have that information, but it is not required.
Do I have to give them my name?
You do not have to give your name. You can place the call anonymously.
What happens next?
The NSR will check to see if a ticket was placed for that location and even if there was, you still have the option to submit the ticket. If there was no ticket placed, the NSR will submit the ticket which will notify the facility owner/operators in the area. The Michigan Public Service Commission, who enforces and issues penalties regarding PA 174 or the MISS DIG 811 law, is also notified and will investigate the incident.
That sounds serious, should I really report this?
According to statistics from the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) 25% of all damage to utility infrastructure is caused due to excavating without first calling 811 & having utilities located & marked. In other words, 1 out of every 4 damages could be prevented by simply contacting MISS DIG 811. You can help to keep your community safe.
Does everyone have to place a ticket if they are digging, even a homeowner?
Absolutely! Unfortunately, most of the utility damage is done by what the industry considers to be “light” excavation work; quite often when power equipment is used sparingly or not at all. The biggest offenders are fence installers, landscapers, rental companies that install tents or inflatables, sidewalk & cement contractors, & the do-it-yourself community! While Public Act 174 and its definition of excavation is concerned with power tools or equipment, there is a federal law that defines excavation as using either mechanized or non-mechanized tools. The law requests any excavator call the One-Call in their area. It’s about more than breaking the laws & penalties; it’s really all about keeping everyone safe.