Planning An Excavation Project? Contact JULIE Before You Dig.
State law requires you to contact JULIE at least two business days before you start any project, no matter how small the project or how deep you plan to dig.
- This law requires the excavator actually doing the digging notify JULIE with the locate request information.
This can be a personal representative or employee of the company engaging in the excavation activity.
Online or over the phone, there are two convenient ways to contact JULIE and submit a locate request for free.
Click Before Your Dig
Have a single-address excavation? Enter your own, self-service locate E-Request anytime, 24/7/365. All you need is a valid email address. Questions? Click here for tips to streamline the process.
Click here to learn more about our Remote Ticket Entry system for entering multiple requests.
Call Before You Dig
In Illinois outside of the City of Chicago, call JULIE at 1-800-892-0123 or call 811, the national call before you dig number. Agents are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Digging within City of Chicago limits? Call (312) 744-7000.
Pre-Mark Your Project
Pre-marking is the process of marking the dig area with white paint and/or white flags prior to contacting JULIE. This allows utility locators to complete their work more quickly and makes it easier for excavation crews to identify the dig site. It can also reduce the number of joint meets needed.
- State law requires excavators pre-mark the dig site when practical.
- Pre-mark your project prior to contacting JULIE
- Use only white paint and/or flags (black when snow is present)
- Paint with dashes, lines or arrows
- The width of each mark should be approximately 2″
- The length of each mark should be 6″ to 12″
- The distance between marks depends on site conditions, but should be no greater than 20′
- Company identification should be painted at reasonable intervals to allow for quick identification
- Pre-marks that box in the excavation are limited to that box (unless specified otherwise on the locate request
- Mark the center line if doing linear work
- Indicate on your locate request that you want locators to mark at least 10 feet past your pre-marked area
For additional information, or if you have any questions, please contact a Damage Prevention Manager in your area.
JULIE Does NOT Cover Private Utilities
Contacting JULIE is the first step when taking on a project that involves digging. Making sure that all utility lines are marked before you dig can help you avoid a costly and/or dangerous mistake. However, the utility service providers in your area that are notified by JULIE will only mark public utilities that they own, operate and/or maintain. It is possible that you have both public and private utilities in your dig site area. Private utilities can include, but are not limited to, those listed below.
JULIE’s agents do not know who owns street lights at a dig site. They may be owned by any of the following:
- Electric utility
- Local municipality
- Subdivision developer (possibly private, not notified by JULIE)
- Property owner (possibly private, not notified by JULIE)
If you know that your excavation will occur in an area where street lights are present, you may want to specifically request that these underground lines be marked or that the owner contact you. Ask the JULIE agent to enter this information in the “Remarks” section or enter it yourself if you are a remote user.
ILLINOIS STATE TOLL HIGHWAY AUTHORITY
The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA) operates separately from the JULIE Illinois One-Call System. Excavators working near ISTHA lines are required to contact them at least two business days prior to the start of their project so that they can mark their underground lines. Click here to complete an ISTHA Location Request Application.
Excavators working near ISTHA underground lines are still required to contact JULIE two business days in advance of their project so that all other member utilities in the area can be notified, as well.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) operates separately from the JULIE Illinois One-Call System. Excavators working near IDOT lines are required to contact them prior to the start of their project to determine if they will mark their underground lines. For IDOT contact information, visit their Web site under “Make Contacts”.
Excavators working near IDOT underground lines are still required to contact JULIE two business days in advance of their project so that all other member utilities in the area can be notified, as well.
PRIVATE UNDERGROUND LINES
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, but are not limited to:
- Natural gas or propane gas underground piping to a garage or an outbuilding
- Natural gas or propane gas lines to gas grills and pool heaters
- Propane gas lines from the tank to building
- Private water systems
- Underground sprinkler systems
- Customer-owned electric lines
- Invisible fences
- Data communications lines
- Septic and well systems
Water companies locate their main lines in easements and rights-of-way and, in most cases, 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 some businesses, but not those running to swimming pool pumps and heaters, irrigation systems or other 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 property owner 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.