Call before you dig

 Call before you dig

SafeZone Brochure

With thousands of miles of pipeline, wires and cables beneath our city's homes, businesses and sidewalks, there's just no way to know how close you are to hitting a service line without calling 8-1-1. A large percentage of these lines are underground and out of sight, and these lines are very dangerous if exposed or damaged. Hitting a line could be harmful or potentially fatal, disrupt service and have expensive repair costs.

The process

  1. Always call 8-1-1 before you plan to dig, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property. Determine your dig area so that you can be specific when calling for your locate request.
  2. Colorado 8-1-1 will notify all Tier I companies (ex: Springs Utilities, phone, cable) who may have underground lines in your area. If there are Tier II members who own lines in your area (ex: utility lines that were privately installed), they will give the caller the phone number for Tier II members that the excavator will need to notify.
  3. Within three business days, our crews will mark Springs Utilities'-owned utility lines on your property, free of charge. Other locators may respond to mark phone and cable, and there may be private utility lines in your yard.
  4. Your property must be accessible, including having gates unlocked and animals contained. If there is a problem with access, scheduled meet times are available for your convenience. When you call COLORADO 8-1-1 be prepared to set a time and date for an appointment.
  5. Always dig with care. Utility lines are within 18 inches on either side of the marks left by utility owners.
  6. We will leave a copy of your locate request onsite on a white flag with a sketch indicating where the underground utility lines run. Be sure to keep this with you at all times while digging.
  7. Respect and protect the marks. Marks are good for 30 days, or as long as marks are visible within that 30 day period. You must request re-marks if your locates have expired or you have lost your marks.

What to do if you damage an underground utility line

  1. Stop work immediately. Don’t attempt to shut off service or repair, clamp or bury the damaged line.
  2. If you know you’ve hit a natural gas line, or if you’re unsure, warn others around you and leave the area immediately. Natural gas is extremely dangerous and flammable when it leaks and a line is exposed.
  3. If an injury has occurred, call 9-1-1.
  4. Call us at 448-4800 to inform us of the damage, and we will dispatch the proper crew to repair the damaged line.
  5. Call 8-1-1 to inform the Colorado One Call center of the damage - have your original locate request ticket number available.
  6. Wait for proper crews to make repairs, they will inform you when it’s safe to continue your project.

Safety around natural gas

Natural gas is colorless and is odorized to smell like rotten eggs or skunks. Natural gas is combustible, and may become explosive when trapped in an enclosed space. Some ignition sources are light switches, garage door openers, pagers, cell phones, vehicles and other running equipment.

  • If you hit a natural gas line:
    • Leave the area and warn others
    • Call us at 448-4800 or 9-1-1
    • Remove ignition sources, such as cell phones and cigarettes
    • Do not shut off, squeeze or clamp the gas line
    • Do not bury the broken or damaged line
    • Do not return until the area is declared safe

Safety around electricity

Electricity always seeks a path to ground. When you become a part of this path you can be injured or killed. Conductors include water, your body, tree branches, poles and ladders. Insulators isolate electricity, but they can also become a conductor if they're contaminated or broken.

  • Assume all electric lines are energized.
  • Never touch any utility wire and do not touch anyone who is in contact with an electric wire.
  • Survey the site for overhead power lines
    • Point out the power lines to all of your crews.
    • Clearly mark your boundaries to keep people and equipment a safe distance away. Federal law requires at least 10 feet of clearance for voltages under 115,000 - the higher voltage the greater the distance.
    • If you must work closer, contact us at 448-4800 for safety arrangements.
  • Always use a spotter. It is difficult for equipment operators to judge safe distances by themselves. Dedicate a person to keep employees and equipment safe.
  • Never enter substations.
  • Never disconnect or reconnect electric service lines.
  • If equipment comes in contact with an electric line:
  • Move the equipment away from the line if you can do so safely
  • Warn others to stay away; anyone on the ground who touches the equipment is in danger of being killed or injured
  • Stay on the equipment until an emergency responder indicates it is safe to get off
  • Jump clear without touching the ground and equipment at the same time if fire forces you off the equipment and
  • hop away with both legs together