The Best Practices Excavation

Does it exist?

We think it does... in fact it happens all the time! There are eleven simple steps to the best practices excavation:

  1. The excavator visits the site, and marks out every place he or she may be excavating with white paint, flags, or stakes.
  2. The excavator fills out all the information about the excavation on a One-Call Center Location Request Information Sheet, then calls in the location request to the One-Call Center or completes a location request online.
  3. The One-Call Center Customer Service Representative takes the information, and gives the excavator a File Reference Number and a list of members (facility operators) notified. The excavator writes these down on the Location Request Information Sheet for later reference.
  4. The excavator then notifies any nonmember facility operators (nonmember facility operators are not contacted by the One-Call Center).
  5. Each member facility operator either marks out their facilities at the work area, or determines the work area is clear, and then responds to the Automated Positive Response (APR) System.
  6. The excavator verifies that he or she has received responses from all utilities through the Automated Positive Response (APR) System and takes photos of the markings for documentation.
  7. The excavator begins work on the scheduled work date and time, if all the facility operators have responsed, taking care to find and preserve any markings the locators have made.
  8. Before beginning any excavation or demolition, the excavator identifies the tolerance zone and any place the work area crosses a gas or liquid petroleum line ("cross section areas"). When digging near a buried facility, the excavator observes the tolerance zone around that facility.
  9. Before excavating or demolishing in a tolerance zone or any cross section areas, the excavator verifies the location of underground facilities by hand-dug test holes.
  10. If exposing a facility, the excavator provides proper support and protection for it so the facility will not be damaged. 
  11. When the excavation is complete, the excavator provides proper backfill for any facilities having been exposed, and removed all utility markings.