USA Dig: Excavators and Homeowners Call USA North Two Working Days Before You Dig

1-800-227-2600: It's the law and it's free!



5 Easy Steps to a Safe Excavation

1. Survey and Mark

Survey your proposed excavation site. Make a list of all the affected facility owners at you job site, their needs, and requirements. Mark the excavation site on paved surfaces with white chalk base paint; use flags, stakes, whiskers, etc. on unpaved surfaces. (Homeowners use flour).

2. Call Before You Dig

Call USA North two working days before you dig in CA, NV, and HI. Only facility owners who are members of the USA North program will be notified. USA North does not accept design stage calls. Emergency calls are not accepted in California. In case of a life-threatening situation, call 911 or your local fire department. Compare your list of facility owners notified by USA North One-Call. For your safety, contact any facility owner at your job site that is not a member of USA North.

3. Wait the Required Time

The two working day notice allows USA North members to examine their underground facility records and respond to you. Our members, who are owner/operators of underground facilities, will provide you with information about the location of their facility, mark, or stake the horizontal path of their facility with the appropriate color code, or advise of clearance. Depending on our member's workload, they may contact you to try to negotiate a new start date for your excavation. This will allow them the opportunity to provide you with greater service.

4. Respect the Marks

Maintain facility marks for the duration of the job. If any of the utility markings are not reasonably visible, you must call USA North and request remarking by the affected facility owner(s). A remarking request requires a two working day notice in California and Hawaii and a one working day notice in Nevada. When you request utilities to remark their facilities, you will be asked if your excavation site is still outlined in white chalk base paint so the USA North members can respond to your request. Your ticket is active for fourteen calendar days from the date of your call to USA North. You must have an active USA North ticket for the entire duration of your excavation.

5. Dig With Care

In California and Hawaii, hand excavate within 24" of the outside diameter of the facility -- in Nevada, 30". Facilities that are in conflict with you excavation are to be located by hand and protected before power equipment is used. Notify the affected utility of any contact, scrape, dent, nick, or damage to their facility.

Refer to California Government Code 4216 and Nevada Regulatory Statute 455 for liability risks. There are fines of up to $50,000 and $100,000 respectively for violations of these state laws. Hawaii has no One-Call Legislation but excavators are responsible for damages. For a complete copy of state law, visit our website at www.usanorth.org.


Feild markings will be made in compliance with the following color code:

Red: Electric
Orange: Communication/CATV
Green: Sewer/Storm Drain
Pink: Temporary Survey Markings
Yellow: Gas-Oil Steam
Blue: Water
Purple: Reclaimed Water
White: Proposed Excavation


USA North
4090 Nelson Avenue, Suite A
Concord, CA 94520-1232

1-800-227-2600
Call 6:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M. (PST), Monday - Friday