Calling Gopher State One Call (GSOC) 48 hours in advance of digging is important in protecting you and your family from the dangers associated with digging near buried utility lines. There is no charge for this service.
Spring is the time for landscaping, building and many other projects to start that require digging to complete. When you think about it…more…
To file a Locate Request, and have the underground utilities marked call Gopher State One Call at 1-800-252-1166 Statewide or visit their website at Gopher State One Call Website. You can also call the national One Call Center at 811 or visit their One Call 811 website (both will leave OPU’s website).
GSOC is the state-wide notification center for excavation in Minnesota.
There is no cost for the service that GSOC provides, GSOC is a non-profit organization and is supported by all of the underground utility operators in Minnesota.
A call to GSOC should be made at least 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) prior to the start of the digging. The GSOC office hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
GSOC takes information from callers who are digging, processes it in a computer, and notifies underground utility operators who will send out personnel to mark the location of their lines. The Color Code for marking underground utility lines are listed below. The underground utility owners will mark the location of the underground service with flags or paint.
After the utilities are notified, they will determine the need to locate and mark their facilities near the proposed site. By law, underground utility operators must mark their utilities within 48 hours. You cannot dig until the 48 hours time frame has elapsed.
The utility owners are required to mark only their buried facilities. If any private utilities are buried in the area, (power lines to garages, gas grill or LP lines, lawn sprinkler systems, invisible fences, etc.) you must locate them or hire a private contractor to perform this service. Check you local phone directory under “Utilities-Locating” or your local utility company may recommend someone to do this for you.
Anyone digging in Minnesota must call before digging if using power equipment. Even when hand-digging, you are encouraged to call to determine the location of underground utilities.
The person who is doing the work is responsible for calling GSOC. If the homeowner does the excavation work, the homeowner is responsible for calling GSOC. If the owner contracts with a professional excavator to do the excavation (tree planting, backhoe excavation, power auguring of post holes, etc.)then the professional excavator is responsible for calling GSOC.
Look up the legal description for the property and mark the excavation site in White Wooden, white stakes or white paint should be used to outline the proposed excavation area. If there are no white markings indicating the proposed work site, the utility operators may mark the entire lot.
GSOC answering attendants will ask information about the work site. Some of the questions include: what type of work are you doing, where is the work site located, how long will the work take, what is the legal description of the site? (township/range/section/qtr section coordinates).
The legal description is a very important part of information. This information may be obtained from property tax statements. If the legal information is not provided, GSOC answering attendants must delay you while they consult maps and research the area.
Once the call is complete, a ticket number will be issued. This ticket number is very important and should be kept until the work is completed in case any questions arise. It also serves as a proof that the one-call center was notified.
Once the underground utilities are notified, it is their job to determine whether they need to locate their underground utilities near the proposed dig site. Remember, private utilities may not be marked by any utility.
Utility operators will mark the location of their own underground utilities on the lot with the previously mentioned color codes.
If the dig site has been marked with white stakes, the utilities will mark that area. If white stakes are not used, they may mark the entire lot.
After the underground utilities have been marked and the 48 hour time frame has elapsed, the excavation work may commence.
Once the digging has begun, a minimum clearance of two(2) feet (side to side) between a marked and unexposed underground utility and the cutting edge or point of any power equipment must be kept. If excavation is required within two (2) feet of any marking, the excavation should be performed very carefully with hand tools.
If there has been any damage to an underground utility or if there is a suspicion of damage, it is your responsibility to immediately notify the underground utility directly.
If you damage a natural gas line and gas is released, evacuate the area immediately and call 911. This is required by law.
In the event that you smell natural gas, damage an underground facility or witness a damaged underground facility, encounter a downed power line or come across any situation that you feel may cause imminent danger, please call 911 or contact the utility company directly.