Call Before You Dig: 4 Easy Steps to Legally Excavate This Spring

A young boy and his parent digging in their yard

Spring is here, which means it’s prime digging and excavating season!

Planting trees, installing fences, or landscaping may be some of the exciting outdoor projects on your spring to-do list. However, because of the complex network of pipelines, wires, and cables buried beneath our feet, it’s the law to contact North Dakota One Call (NDOC) at 8-1-1 or ndonecall.com before you break ground.

As your telecommunications provider, NDTC wants to educate our customers about this simple but important process to ensure your safety while protecting underground utility lines.

Here are the steps to follow, according to NDOC:

Step 1: Mark Your Spot

Before you contact North Dakota One Call, the first step for your excavation project is to decide where you plan to dig. Once you determine where you want to break ground, mark your proposed excavation area with white paint or flags.  

Step 2: Contact NDOC

The next step is to call NDOC at 8-1-1 at least 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays) before your project start date. As you describe your project and location, a NDOC representative will fill out a ticket for you to get your lines marked. You can also apply for a ticket online.

A middle-aged man talking on his cell phone while typing on his laptop in his living room

Step 3: Wait for Confirmation

After logging your ticket into a computer, NDOC sends it to member utilities for them to mark the location of their equipment in the ground and confirm whether it interferes with your proposal or not. You can check the status of your ticket anytime on the NDOC website.

Please note: Private facilities that are not NDOC members will not be marked. You may need to contact these entities directly.

Step 4: Start Digging Upon Approval

Once all utilities have marked their lines, you can start your excavation project in the approved area. Be sure to respect the marks and use proper tools and techniques as you dig.

A close up of a person's foot thrusting a shovel into soil

For more information on this process, visit ndonecall.com or call 8-1-1.