Q: Why do you ask so many questions?
A: Many of the questions are required by Wisconsin state law and some questions are required by the underground line owners to help them accurately mark their lines at your job site. To help prepare, a list of the required information is available.
Q: I gave you the address, why do you need to map it?
A: The address will get the locators to your job site, but we also need to map it to determine which member companies have buried facilities near the job site and will receive the locate request. Watch the video to learn more.
Q: Why don't you use Google maps?
A: Diggers Hotline gets mapping data directly from the counties and municipalities in Wisconsin. While Google maps is a useful tool, we have found that it is best to get mapping information from the local level.
Q: What's the deal with Marking Instructions?
A: The Marking Instructions is your message to the locators about the specific area that needs to be marked. Watch the video for further explanation.
Q: Do I have to hear all of the disclaimers every time I call?
A: Frequent callers to Diggers Hotline can opt out of hearing the standard disclaimers on every call. Visit the Waive the Disclaimers page to download the the waiver form.
Q: When do I need a relocate?
A: You may request a relocate after an original locate request ticket has been placed and one of these three things has happened:
- The marks are missing or destroyed
- Work did not begin within 10 days of the legal start date
- Work was interrupted for more than 10 days
The original ticket number is required to obtain a relocate. If the original ticket is invalid, it will take three more business days for the relocate request to be filled. For valid tickets, if a crew is on site, facility owners will try to contact you within one hour to let you know the status of your relocate. The facility owners will then generally relocate within four hours. If the crew is not on site, the locators will relocate within 24 hours.
Q: How else can I file a locate request besides by phone?
A: E-mail-a-locate can be used by anyone making a routine, non emergency or planning locate request.
Remote Entry is available for those individuals and companies who submit a high volume of locate requests. A free half day training class is required before using this program.
Q: What are private lines?
A: Private lines are facilities that are owned by homeowners or private businesses and are contained fully on their property. Because these lines do not cross in to the public right-of-way they are not required to be members of Diggers Hotline so they will not be notified of your intent to dig.
Examples of private lines include propane lines, sewer laterals, sprinkler systems, ornamental lighting and electric lines to a barn or garage.
Q: If a contractor is hired by a homeowner to do excavation work, who is responsible for calling Diggers Hotline?
A: The person or company actually doing the excavation must notify Diggers Hotline. If you are a contractor doing work for a homeowner, it is your legal duty to call Diggers Hotline; it is not the responsibility of your customer.
Q: How deep are the underground facilities buried?
A: It depends on the type of line and whether it was installed properly. Facility owners may follow depth guidelines when installing lines, but they have no control over depth variation caused by human interference, weather, or other circumstances. As a result, depths are not provided by utility locators.
Q: Why do I have to hand dig within 18 inches of a marked facility?
A: Locating is not an exact science so the actual location of the facility could vary from the position of the marks. Also, state law mandates an 18 inch buffer zone on each side of a marked facility. No mechanized equipment can be used within this buffer zone; only hand digging is allowed. Also, you should stay 18 inches away from any utility structure at your job site.
Q: Who is responsible for removing the flags once work is completed?
A: Whoever submitted the locate request is responsible for removing the flags once the work is completed. The locators will not return to your job site to do this.