What You Should Know Before You Dig
If you need to dig a hole in your yard, pasture, business property or anywhere else in the state of Oklahoma, before you dig, you must Call OKIE (Oklahoma One Call) 1-800-522-OKIE (6543).
Careless digging causes disruption of vital services, costly repairs and environmental damage, even injury or loss of life. Both the call and the service are free to you. Please read the following information carefully, and if you have any questions just call them.
Always call them at least 2 working days but no more than 10 days before digging. This excludes weekends or holidays. If you hire a private contractor for excavation, they are responsible for contacting them prior to digging. If you have an emergency, call as soon as possible. They will notify owners of underground utility lines (telephone, cable TV, electric, gas, pipelines, sewer, traffic signals and water lines) and they will locate their utilities once Call OKIE notifies them. Some service lines extending from the property easement to the house belong to the homeowner and are considered privately owned. If you have a question about who owns what, check with your utility company. You or a private contractor will have to locate private services not owned by utility companies in your area.
Wait for the site to be marked. Member utilities will mark the approximate location of their underground utility lines with flags, paint or stakes. They’ll also let you know if they have no lines in the proposed excavation site. If you are dealing with a private contractor for excavation and there are no markers when they come to dig, ask if they called and if no markers mean there are no lines.
Respect the markers. Update your request if work is not started within 10 working days or if markers are no longer visible. The digging safety zone is a strip of land two feet on either side of the underground utility line. Remember to include the width of the line.
Dig with care. When digging in the safety zone, you must determine the exact location of the buried utility line by digging test holes by hand. If damage occurs, even if it’s just a scratch, notify the affected facility, utility, or pipeline immediately. If the damage causes hazardous gas or liquid to escape, you must also notify the police and fire department immediately. Do not backfill in the damaged area until repairs have been made.
When you Call OKIE, be ready to provide the following:
- Caller’s Name
- Phone number, cell number and fax number (if you have one)
- Street address
- Job location
- County, city (or nearest town if rural)
- Type and duration of work
- Starting days and time