Homeowner Safe Digging Information – Iowa One Call


Whatever your summertime projects may be – Whether you are putting in a fence, planting a tree, or starting a garden – call 811 or file your locate requests online. Iowa One Call is here to help!

Submit a Ticket

Don’t Assume You Know What’s Below!

Before Contacting Iowa One Call

When you contact Iowa One Call with a locate request, a series of questions will be asked.

  • What is your name, address and phone number?
  • What type of work will you be doing? (i.e. planting a tree, installation of fence)
  • What is the dig location’s address, city, county and nearest intersecting street?
  • At the dig location, where will you be digging? (i.e. east side of house, within 5 ft radius of white stake.)
  • When will you be digging? (i.e. 3 days, next week)

For more information, check out our guide for Homeowners below.

Homeowner’s Brochure

Paint or Flag Color Indicators

Underground facilities will be marked according to the APWA Color Code. It is extremely helpful for you to outline your proposed excavation site in white paint or with white flags to reduce any confusion as to where the proposed excavation will occur.

  Red – Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit and Lighting Cables

  Yellow – Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum or Gaseous Materials

  Orange – Communication, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit

  Blue – Water, Irrigation and Slurry Lines

  Green – Sewers and Drain Lines

  Pink – Temporary Survey Markings

  White – Proposed Excavation

  Purple – Reclaimed Water

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

You must contact Iowa One Call at least 48 hours (not including the day of the notice, weekends and holidays) in advance of your plans to excavate.

A ticket is valid for 20 calendar days from the time of the call.

ALWAYS check yard markings and Iowa One Call Positive Response ticket status before beginning excavation.


What Does NOT Get Marked

Only the buried facilities registered with Iowa One Call will be located and marked. Private facilities will not be marked for locates. These can include LP gas lines, sprinkler systems, gas grill lines, or more.

Homeowners may call private locating companies to have their private facilities marked.


Tolerance Zone

Paint and flag markings are approximate. The tolerance zone is 18″ on either side of the markings. You should hand dig with caution in the tolerance zone to expose the facility.

Best Practices are derived from existing multi-industry, governmental and public practices that are determined to be “best” in enhancing safety and through rigorous review and evaluation processes developed by the CGA.


What is the Process for Safe Digging?

1) Homeowner Files Locate Request

Effective July 1, 2014, excavators must use white paint, white flags, white stakes, or a combination thereof, to mark the proposed area of excavation (with exceptions. see Iowa Code Section 480.4.e).

2) Iowa One Call processes & submits locate requests to facility operators

3) Facility operators mark the proposed dig site with paint and flags

4) Homeowner digs with care, avoiding damages

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