Follow The Law And Prevent Personal Injury, Utility Damages And Costly Penalties
Damaging an underground utility line can cause an interruption to critical services like electricity, natural gas, water, telephone, and Internet. It also can result in injury to yourself, your co-workers or people in the community. Not only is it easy to avoid damaging buried utility lines by contacting JULIE before you dig…it’s the law.
Following the proper rules makes your job site safer and reduces the chances of accidents occurring. Striking just a single line can cause an outage, high repair costs and even serious injury. However, 99% of the time no damages occur if lines are marked and the individuals digging respect those marks.
Not requesting underground utility lines be located is the number one cause of damage when digging. Excavators caught digging without first having underground utility lines marked can face maximum penalties of $5,000 per violation.
Knowing the risks, what are the most common excuses for not choosing to contact JULIE before you dig?
Assuming An Area Is Safe Because Digging Has Occurred There Before
Even when digging in the same location as a prior project, you are required by law to contact JULIE to submit a locate request. Being off by even a few inches in any direction could result in hitting buried utility lines. Never assume you know where lines are. Follow safe digging practices—every project, every time.
Digging Isn’t Deep Enough To Cause Damage
No project is too small to contact JULIE to submit a request. Even if you’re digging only a few inches down or installing something as simple as a fence post or mailbox, you have the potential to strike an underground utility line. You don’t know how deep lines are buried, so always take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety.
A Tight Production Schedule/Timeline
The person doing the excavation—not the homeowner, business or company for whom the work is being done—MUST contact JULIE to submit a request at least two business days before starting to dig. Each JULIE member is responsible for marking their own underground lines with paint, stakes or flags by the requested Dig Start date and time. Weekends and holidays are not considered business days when scheduling and locate requests received after 4 p.m. are processed as if received at 8 a.m. the next business day. If you want to start your project on a weekend, contact JULIE before 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Contacting JULIE Is Too Time-consuming
It takes just minutes to submit a request to locate underground utilities through JULIE—either online or over the phone—and you can do so 24/7/365.
- Have a single-address, non-emergency project?
- Enter and submit multiple locate requests via Remote Ticket Entry (RTE).
- Call 811 or (800) 892-0123 to speak with an agent.
To learn more about safe digging practices and the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act, click here to view our Excavation Safety Resource. Protect yourself and the community where you live and work while avoiding service outages, costly repairs and potential penalties.