Safe Digging On Your Farm Or Ranch

The soil on your farm or ranch is rich with nutrients and minerals…  AND underground gas, oil, and water pipelines along with high voltage power lines.

Excavation, terracing projects, fence post installation, tilling or subsoiling can create safety hazards due to the depth of the excavations.

CALL BEFORE YOU DIG in order to notify utility companies who will be affected by the excavation.  This service is FREE and it’s the LAW.

No one digs more dirt than America’s farmers and ranchers.  Understanding what is below ground will help you DIG SAFELY above ground.



Mark the boundaries of your planned digging in white paint or flagging.  Then, notify your local one-call center by calling 811 or making an online request (North Idaho 811) 2 full business days before you plan to dig.

The one-call center will transmit information to affected utility operators.


Wait 2 full business days for affected utility operators to respond to your request.

On average, between 3-5 utility operators are notified for each request.


Confirm that all affected utility operators have responded to your request by comparing the marks to the list of utilities the one-call center notified.


Respect the marks. The marks provided by the affected utility operators are your guide for the duration of your project.

Utility members will mark the location and path of their underground facilities using the following colors:

If you are unable to maintain the marks during your project, or the project will continue past your request’s expiration date (a locate ticket is good for 21 days after the 1st day the ticket was called in), please call 811 to ask for a re-mark.

Dig Carefully

If you can’t avoid digging near the marks (within 24 inches on all sides), consider moving your project to another part of your yard.

If you must dig near the marks or use machinery of any kind, please click here to read “The 811 Process for Contractors.”