What is MISS DIG 811?

MISS DIG 811 is Michigan's statewide one-call notification system that was developed in order to provide excavators and the general public the ability to inform multiple owners of underground facilities of excavation with a single call. MISS DIG 811 is a not-for-profit independent company that processes information from excavators and passes that information on to affected utilities. MISS DIG 811 does not do any physical locating and marking of buried facilities in the field, therefore, MISS DIG 811 is not responsible for incorrect marking or damages resulting from failing to mark in a timely fashion.

Do I have to call before I dig?

Michigan's statute, Act 174 of Public Act 2013, requires anyone who engages in, or is responsible for, the planning or performance of any type of excavation e.g.; grading, demolition, cultivating, augering, blasting, or boring to provide advance notice of at least three full business days to MISS DIG 811 by dialing 811 or 800-482-7171, or online via a Remote Ticket Entry program or e-Locate program:  http://newtin.missdig.org/newtinweb/missdig_e-locate.html#divLogIn .The notification center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to take ticket requests. MISS DIG 811 must be contacted prior to excavation in order to comply with the state statute. In the event of contact with an underground facility, you must contact the facility owner/operator directly.

How soon can I dig once the locate request has been placed?

It is very important to wait until the legal start date and time assigned. Beginning work earlier can result in forfeiture of your rights and protections granted under Michigan statute, Act 174 of Public Act 2013. MISS DIG 811 will issue the earliest legal start date possible, usually three business days after you contact MISS DIG 811.

How long is a locate request valid?

A ticket remains valid for 21 calendar days after the legal dig start date requested on the MISS DIG 811 ticket. It is, however, the excavator's responsibility to get the marks refreshed when needed. A ticket becomes invalid only if the work continues past 21 calendar days, or the locate marks are missing or need refreshing. In certain situations, MISS DIG 811 may issue a project ticket that will remain valid for 180 calendar days. In addition, if excavation has not commenced on a project within 14 days, a new MISS DIG 811 ticket will be required.

Can I request re-marking of a site?

You may request a re-mark after an original locate request ticket has been placed and one of the following conditions exists:

  • A facility is unmarked.
  • Positive Response is not posted.
  • Missing or destroyed markings.

The original ticket number is required to obtain a re-mark. If the original ticket is invalid, it will take three more business days for the relocate request to be filled. For valid tickets, the facility owners have 24 hours to re-mark the site.

What about the depth of underground facilities?

Facility owner/operators have no control over depth variation caused by human interference, weather, or other circumstances. As a result, facilities will only mark the approximate location, not the depth of buried facilities.

Why do I have to hand dig around a marked facility?

Locating is not an exact science, therefore, the actual location of the facility could vary from the position of the marks. PA 174 states that “for excavations in a caution zone parallel to a facility, an excavator shall use soft excavation at intervals as often as reasonably necessary to establish the precise location of the facility. An excavator may use power tools and power equipment in a caution zone only after the facilities are exposed or the precise location of the facilities is established.”

What is approximate location?

The approximate location is a strip of land at least 36 inches wide, but not wider than the width of the marked facility plus 18 inches on either side of the facility marks.

What is the caution zone?

The caution zone is the area within 48 inches of either side of the facility marks provided by a facility owner or facility operator.

What is Positive Response?

Positive Response is a system housed at the MISS DIG 811 center that allows any participating member, or their authorized locating contractor, to provide status of dig tickets sent to them by MISS DIG 811. Once the member or the locating contractor determines the status of the ticket, such as clear or marked, they must then post that response to the system. The posted status is then attached to the ticket and stored on the Positive Response server. The posted status can then be retrieved by the requester of the ticket at response.missdig.org, or by using the interactive voice response system at 800-763-3888.

If a homeowner hires a contractor to do excavation work, who is responsible for calling MISS DIG 811?

According to the state law, the excavator must notify the notification center, not the homeowner for whom the work is being done. If you are a contractor, it is your legal obligation to contact MISS DIG 811 - It is not the responsibility of your customer.

What is a private facility?

A private facility is a facility located on real property a person or business owns or occupies if the facility is operated solely for the benefit of that person or business. Examples of private facilities include electric, gas and/or communications lines owned by a business, or homeowner-owned underground sprinkler systems, invisible dog fences, or electricity to a detached garage. Because private facilities are not required to become MISS DIG 811 members, they will not be notified of an intent to dig. It is the excavator's duty to notify the owners of private facilities of their intent to dig.

Are there limits on what I can request to have located?

MISS DIG 811 tickets do have Scope of Work limitations to allow member utilities the ability to complete the utility line locating within the 3 business day time frame. There are limits on things such as the number of addresses, utility poles and apartment buildings. There are also limitations on the length of a particular request when work is being performed in or near a road right-of-way. For detailed information on MISS DIG 811’s Scope of Work click here

What information will I be asked when contacting MISS DIG 811?

  • Your name and phone number
  • The contractor or person doing the work.
  • Field contact information, email(optional), text/sms(optional)
  • The geographical location (county, city, village, or township) of the work area.
  • The address where the work will be done.
  •  Nearest cross streets to the work site
  • The type of work being done; for example, installing a fence or building a deck.
  • Information about the project area that identifies the boundaries for the utility representatives; for example, locate underground utility lines 100 feet from the north side of the house; locate underground utility lines in the entire yard; or locate underground utility lines in the front yard.

What should I do if I see someone digging without marks?

When you see someone digging without first having their utilities located & marked, simply call 811 to speak to a Notification System Representative (NSR). Tell them that you would like to place a No Marks ticket. This ticket will only be accepted through the MISS DIG 811 Notification Center; this cannot be placed online through any of our web programs. 

  • What else do I tell them?

    • The NSR will ask you for the county, city/township/village, address and cross streets.  You can provide the name of the excavator if you have that information, but it is not required.

  • Do I have to give them my name?

    • You do not have to give your name. You can place the call anonymously.

  • What happens next?

    • The NSR will check to see if a ticket was placed for that location and even if there was, you still have the option to submit the ticket.  If there was no ticket placed, the NSR will submit the ticket which will notify the facility owner/operators in the area.  The Michigan Public Service Commission, who enforces and issues penalties regarding PA 174 or the MISS DIG 811 law, is also notified and will investigate the incident. 

  • That sounds serious, should I really report this?

    • According to statistics from the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) 25% of all damage to utility infrastructure is caused due to excavating without first calling 811 & having utilities located & marked.   In other words, 1 out of every 4 damages could be prevented by simply contacting MISS DIG 811. You can help to keep your community safe.

  • Does everyone have to place a ticket if they are digging, even a homeowner?

    • Absolutely!  Unfortunately, most of the utility damage is done by what the industry considers to be “light” excavation work; quite often when power equipment is used sparingly or not at all.  The biggest offenders are fence installers, landscapers, rental companies that install tents or inflatables, sidewalk & cement contractors, & the do-it-yourself community! While Public Act 174 and its definition of excavation is concerned with power tools or equipment, there is a federal law that defines excavation as using either mechanized or non-mechanized tools.  The law requests any excavator call the One-Call in their area.  It’s about more than breaking the laws & penalties; it’s really all about keeping everyone safe.

  •  What should I be looking for at a dig site

    • You should see flags and/ or paint. The approximate location of any line or lines may be indicated by colored flags, paint, or both based on the situation.  Each facility type has its own designated color, consistent with the nationally adopted, American Public Works Association color code:
                   FAQ - MISS DIG System, Inc. - Color_Code
  • How will I know if there are any facility lines buried at the dig site?

    • Look at the worksite area. If you see meters, hydrants, transformers, pedestals, or permanent gas line markers, there should be marks identifying facilities in the area.  If you see a crew preparing to excavate at a worksite without any of these indicators, it’s very clear that they did not call MISS DIG 811 to have facilities located & marked.

Find more information by contacting MISS DIG 811 on the web at MISSDIG811.org or by phone at 811.