Have questions on a specific excavation topic? Below is information on some of the most common subjects.

Professional Excavator FAQs

  • What are the excavator’s responsibilities while digging? The excavator has an obligation to honor all time and marking requirements and then to dig in a reasonable and prudent manner, taking all reasonable and required precautions to avoid damaging underground lines. Always do a visual observation before digging. The law requires extra precaution, such as hand digging and/or vacuum excavation within 18 inches on either side of a marked underground line.
  • If I am the subcontractor on a job, do I have to get a locate request ticket or will the general contractor’s ticket protect me? According to state law, the person doing the digging is required to notify JULIE with the locate request information at least two business days in advance of the start of the excavation, not the homeowner or company for whom the work is being done. The general contractor’s locate request only applies to its company. The general contractor should only request a locate if the general contractor itself is planning to dig at the site.
  • How do I notify JULIE for a locate request? Call 811 or 1 (800) 892-0123 or choose one of our self-service, online options such as E-Request or Remote Ticket Entry (RTE) anytime when working in Illinois, outside the city limits of Chicago.  Within the city limits of Chicago, call 312-744-7000.
  • When can I process locate requests? Agents and self-service online options are available to receive and process locate requests 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
  • Who marks the underground utility lines? Member utility companies (NOT JULIE) mark their own lines. JULIE functions as a communications link between our member utility owners/operators and individuals planning to dig on their property or work site. We notify our members who are operating utility lines in the proposed digging area once we have received a locate request. Keep in mind that companies often hire locating services to mark the lines for them.
  • What happens if damage occurs to a utility line while I am digging? First, if you have created a potentially dangerous situation (i.e., damaged gas line, etc.), evacuate the area and immediately call 911 and/or the proper emergency responders. State law requires the excavator to call both JULIE and the owner of the damaged utility line.

For answers to more frequently asked questions, click here.

Flag and Marking Colors

JULIE member utility companies use the American Public Works Association (APWA) color code to place marks or flags on the ground to correspond to their utility type. JULIE personnel are not utility locators and do not visit dig sites nor locate any underground lines. JULIE members use the following color code when paint or flags are utilized to mark their underground utility facilities.

Other State Notification Centers

Calling 811 automatically routes you directly to your local notification center. JULIE covers the entire state of Illinois, outside the City of Chicago. If you are working in the City of Chicago, contact 811 Chicago at 312-744-7000 or visit 811 Chicago. To reach another state notification center, click here.

JULIE’s Website

www.JULIEbeforeyoudig.com includes additional information and resources, including the holiday schedule, marking terms and guidelines, private lines, and contract locators.

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