Operators of underground lines only locate the buried lines that they operate and/or maintain. They do not locate private underground, which are lines installed after the meter has been installed. These lines are considered customer-owned.
Examples of private lines include:
- Natural gas or propane gas underground piping to a garage or an out building
- Gas grills and pool heaters
- Private water systems
- Underground sprinkler systems
- Customer-owned electric lines
- Invisible fences
- Data communications lines
Water companies locate their main lines in easements and rights-of-way and lines to a water meter or curb valve, whichever is closest to the main line. However, they may not locate the water lines from a meter or curb valve to a home or building. Sewer companies locate their main lines but may not locate any portion of a lateral service to a home or building. Check with your local service companies to determine their locate requirements.
Electric companies usually locate their lines to homes and businesses, but not those running to swimming pool pumps and heaters, irrigation systems or another buildings on the property.
Private lines will be part of almost every job. Take time to survey the work site for signs of private lines:
- Is there a propane storage tank on the property?
- Is there a detached garage or outbuilding with lighting?
- Is there a pool heater or gas grill? or
- Did you notice an underground sprinkler system?
Take a few moments to review these issues with the homeowner prior to beginning your excavation, but keep in mind that previous property owners may have installed lines that the current owners don’t know about.
Do not dig until the buried lines are identified and marked. JULIE member companies DO NOT locate privately installed lines. These lines can be located by hiring a contract locator.