When underground facilities such as gas pipelines, fiber optic cables and water lines are disrupted by farming excavations, so are the lives of Iowa’s farming communities. Notifying Iowa One Call prior to all of your excavations outside the scope of “Normal Farming Operations” will help keep your family, community, farm, or ranch safe from situations that occur when underground facilities are damaged.
Don’t Assume You Know What’s Below!
Call 811 Before You Dig
Iowa law requires all farmers and ranchers to notify Iowa One Call at least 48 hours prior (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) to all terracing and waterway projects, new fence post installations, tiling, subsoiling, ripping or plowing below fifteen (15) inches in depth.
Excavators are required by law to identify the area of proposed excavation using white paint, stakes, or other suitable white markings in a manner that will enable utility operators to know the boundaries of the proposed excavation activities.
Locators represent the underground facility operator. Iowa law requires all underground facility operators to register with and utilize the Iowa One call system accordingly. Underground facility operators are responsible for locating and marking the portion of any underground facilities that they own and operate.
- All locate requests transmitted via the Iowa One Call System are official and require positive response from the operator (locator).
- Locators must not refuse a locate request of any kind once transmitted via the Iowa One Call System.
- Only an operator can use the proper channels to dispute an official Iowa One Call locate transmission.
- Decisions made in the field by locators must be documented.
- Locators must follow the provisions established via state law (Iowa Code, Chapter 480) and the proper protocols established by the facility operators for whom the locating and marking of underground facilities is being performed.
- All locators must establish effective communications with the excavators in the field who will be performing excavations in proximity to the underground facilities located by the locators.
- Locators must use proper channels of communication for reporting incidents and issues that may impact safety and damage prevention.
- Locators do not represent Iowa One Call and must refrain from making assumptions and potentially misleading statements pertaining to Iowa One Call and the Iowa Code, Chapter 480. Locators can communicate via proper channels to verify Iowa One Call requirements, policies and established protocols.
Types of Locate Requests
There are generally three types of requests made from excavators to utility operators through Iowa One Call:
- Regular Locate Requests
- Emergency Locate Requests
- Notices of Dig-Ins (damage to facilities)
In addition, Iowa One Call provides Joint Meet Locates, Design Information Requests, and Design Locate Requests.
See page nine in the Excavator Manual for more details.
When you have a project that requires digging, your first step is to contact Iowa One Call. You can do this by calling 811 or 1-800-292-8989. You can also file your locate requests online by clicking on the “Submit a Ticket” button above.
Things To Remember
“Normal Farming Operations” means plowing, cultivating, planting, harvesting, and similar operations routine to most farms, but excludes chisel plowing, sub-soiling, or ripping more than fifteen inches in depth, drain tile excavating, terracing, digging or driving a post in a new location other than replacing a post while repairing a fence in its existing location, and similar operations.
The Excavator Makes the Call
The person doing the actual excavation work is required to notify Iowa One Call at least 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) prior to excavating. If the farmer is doing his own work, then that farmer needs to make the notification. If the farmer has contracted a third party to do the excavating, then it is the responsibility of that third party to make the notification (not the farmer).
Design Request System (For Professional Designers/Engineers)
The NEW Design Request System is available NOW. Please be sure to review the updated manual, as the new DRS has undergone several changes.