Safe Digging

Do I have to get underground facilities located?

YES! Whether you are a professional excavator, a farmer, or a homeowner – If you are digging or placing any object in the ground, you are required to get marks indicating the location of underground utilities. The person doing the excavating is the person that has to make the call.

Montana Law, Annotated Code, 69-4-502 states: “…an excavator may not make or begin an excavation without first obtaining information concerning the possible location of an underground facility from each public utility, municipal corporation, underground facility owner, or other person having the right to bury underground facilities that is a member of a one-call notification center ….”

Montana Law, Annotated Code, 69-4-503 states: “Before beginning an excavation, the excavator shall notify, through a one-call notification center, all owners of underground facilities in the area of the proposed excavation.”

“But I’m not an excavator – I’m just putting in a fence around my yard.”

Montana Law, Annotated Code, 69-4-501 states: “Excavator” means a person conducting the excavation activities. “Excavation” means an operation in which earth, rock, or other material in the ground is moved, removed, or otherwise displaced by means or use of any tools, equipment, or explosives. The term includes but is not limited to grading, trenching, digging, ditching, drilling, augering, tunneling, scraping, and cable or pipe plowing and driving.

There are already marks there from an earlier locate, can I use them?

NO! You may not use someone else’s locate marks. You don’t know how old they are and if they are still valid or not. Things can change over time or it may not cover the same area that you are digging in.

Can I use a computer to request a locate?

Yes, you can. Look at the menu at the top of the screen and select the appropriate type: either Homeowner or Excavator. In the drop-down, choose Submit A Locate Request.