- What Are The Legally Declared Holidays For Missouri?
- When Is The Best Time To Call?
- What Questions Should I Expect?
- When Should I Call?
- Who Is Required To Call In?
- What Is An Emergency?
- What Is An Approximate Location?
- When Should I Notify The Utilities Directly?
- What Information Is Needed To Complete The Call?
- What Happens After You Call?
- What Are The Responsibilities Of The Excavator?
- What Are The Responsibilities Of The Facility Owner?
- How Long is Notification Valid?
- When do you need to do a Renewal ticket?
- What Do I Do If The Utility Has Not Marked The Lines?
- What Happens If The Excavator Or Utility Fails To Comply With Chapter 319?
- Are Utilities Required To Be At A Certain "Depth"?
- What Are The Different Types Of Tickets And What Do They Mean?
Missouri Underground Facility Safety and Damage Prevention statute (RSMo Chapter 319) defines a “working day” as everyday, except Saturday, Sunday or a legally declared local, state, or federal holiday. The following is a schedule of legally declared holidays as provided by State Statue 9.010 RSMo 2000:
These days will not apply towards the 2 business day notice in which the utilities have to respond to your locate request. Please plan accordingly.
For the purposes of Chapter 319, legally declared holidays that fall on a Saturday do not result in the prior Friday to be considered a working day.
Call during off-peak hours. Missouri One Call operators are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On weekdays, they are busiest between 8:30am and noon; 2:00pm and 4:00pm. You can get better service by avoiding these times.
In order to complete your locate request our operators will ask you the following questions:
- Telephone number
- Type of work and equipment
- Will you excavate on public right of way
- Depth of excavation
- What county
- Where on the property the work will take place
- House number
- Street name
- Names of the two intersecting streets that the job site is between
MOCS should be called prior to excavating in order to comply with the state law. MOCS, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will inform callers which MOCS members are to be notified of the location request.
It is also the caller's responsibility to determine if facility owners, who are not MOCS members, maintain lines at the job site and to notify these owners directly.
Missouri law requires that any person making or beginning any excavation notify all underground facility owners/operators which may be affected by said excavation at least two but not more than ten working days in advance, except in the case of an emergency.
Missouri law defines a "working day" as everyday, except Saturday, Sunday, or a legally declared local, state or federal holiday.
An "emergency" is legally defined as a situation resulting from a sudden unexpected occurrence and presenting a clear and imminent danger demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss or damage to life, health, property or essential public services.
Requesting an emergency that does not meet the definition of the law is in direct violation of the law and may be treated as such.
The excavator may be liable for the cost of locating a request that does not meet the definition of the law.
"Approximate location" is defined by Missouri law as a strip of land not wider than the width of the underground facility plus two feet on either side thereof.
In any of the following situations, the caller should contact the facility owner(s) directly:
- To report any type of service problem
- To resolve any type of billing problem
- To request any type of facility removal or relocation
- To request any type of utility service
- To report gas odors
Missouri law requires that each notice of intent to excavate contain the name, address, and telephone number of both the person filing the intent and of the excavator. The Call Center operator will ask for the telephone number that someone will be available on working days and whether or not that telephone is equipped with a recording device. The e-mail address, facsimile number and cellular telephone number, if any, will also be requested. In order to speed up the process of taking locate request in the future, your phone number, including the area code, is used to generate your contractor identification number or Call Center ID. The telephone system at the Call Center or the Call Center operator will ask for this identification number at the beginning of each call.
Specifics About The Excavation:
The operator will ask for the type of work and depth of work you are planning, along with the type of equipment you plan to use. He/she will also need to know if you intend to use explosives and whether or not you will be tunneling or horizontally boring.
Location of Excavation and Specifics About the Job Site:
Correctly identifying the location of your excavation protects you, the utilities, the general public and the environment. Missouri law requires the location of the excavation to be described in one of the following manners:
- By reference to a specific street address or by description of location in relation to the nearest numbered, lettered, or named state or county road or city street for which a road sign is posted.
- By latitude and longitude including the appropriate description in degrees, minutes, and seconds, or by state plane coordinates.
- By a description of the site of excavation by approximate distance and direction from the nearest state or county road or city street or intersection and the proximity of the site to any prominent landmarks.
- By description of the location of the excavation at the site described by the direction and approximate distance in relation to prominent features of the site, such as existing buildings.
- By giving directions as to how to reach the site of the excavation from the nearest such road, if the excavation is not on or near a posted numbered, lettered, or named state or county road or city street.
If the excavation has a street address, this information needs
to be given with the proper prefix and suffix. (For example:
West Elm Street, North Main Avenue, etc.) along with the nearest
intersecting street, road or highway, and which side of the
road the work is taking place.
Locate request can also be processed using the latitude and longitude coordinates of the excavation site. This information can be obtained by using a Global Positioning System unit or from survey plats and should be provided in degrees, minutes and seconds or degrees, minutes and hundredths of minutes.
Request for Meeting:
The operator will ask whether you would like the utilities to contact you to set up a meeting and whether you would like the lines to be marked at the time of the meeting. The operator will ask for the date and time of the planned excavation and will also ask for whom the work is being done.
Ticket Serial Number:
The operator will assign a unique reference number which identifies your Locate Request site. This number should be kept as your record of the call and be used for any future references to this excavation notification.
After recording the above information about your planned excavation, the operator will list the member utilities to be notified of your plans. You are required by law to directly contact any other utilities with underground facilities in the area.
A current list of the MOCS utility member names, including the counties in which they have facilities, is available on MOCS' web site; click on Members on the top of the home page.
After all information has been taken, the request is processed by the call center computer system and transmitted to member utilities that have underground facilities at the dig site within a matter of minutes.
Members receive the locate request by fax, email or by direct telephone notification.
The information is received at the member's mapping or dispatch office. In some cases, the utility may be able to determine from the information that it has no underground facilities at the dig site. In these cases, the members will notify you that they are clear.
Color Codes Required By Law
- Excavators are required to dig carefully and act responsibly.
- Excavators must notify all owners/operators with underground facilities in the excavation site at least two and not more than ten working days in advance of the excavation.
- Before beginning excavation it is important that the excavator confirm that all utilities have responded.
- Excavators must re-notify utilities who have not responded by placing a "No Response" request.
- The excavator must make the excavation in a careful and prudent manner.
- If an underground facility is damaged or dislocated the excavator must notify Missouri One Call. (1-800-344-7483).
- It is illegal for the excavator to conceal or attempt to conceal damage or to make repairs. Repairs may be made only to sewer lines, without prior authorization.
- Excavators shall exercise reasonable care not to unnecessarily disturb or obliterate markings provided for location of underground facilities.
- The facility owner/operator is required to respond to each notification within three working days of receipt of the notification. In the event the owner/operator fails to respond, the excavator must give the a second notice. The facility owner/operator must respond to the No Response within two hours. (see below "What To Do If The Utility Has Not Marked The Lines" )
- The utilities are required to keep accurate records and act responsibly.
- The utility must correct its installation records to show the actual location, when informed by the excavator the facilities were incorrectly located.
- The One Call center, or non-member facility owner, must keep a written records of notifications received for five years. Computer records or telephone recordings of notices must be kept for one year.
The state law says excavators must give notice at least two but not more than 10 working days before the work is to begin. It also says that when the marks have been provided, the excavator may commence and continue to work within the area described in the notice as long as the markings are visible.
If markings become unusable due to weather, construction or other cause the excavator shall contact the notification center to request remarking.
If markings have been provided for more than 10 days without commencing the excavation, it is suggested that the excavator contact the notification center to request remarking.
Use the original locate request ticket number to identify the excavation site.
If the start date and time arrives and one or more member owner/operators has failed to mark the facilities or failed to inform the excavator that they are clear, the excavator is required to call Missouri One Call with a second request, known as a "No Response" ticket.
This intent of this ticket is to advise the member utility that they have failed to mark or respond with a "Clear" within the three working day time period.
The utilities are required to respond to the request by marking or making contact with the excavator within 2 hours.
If the No Response request is made before 2 pm the marking shall be completed that working day. If the No Response request is made after 2 pm the markings must be completed no later than 10 am the following working day.
If the utility fails to contact the excavator within two hours of the No Response request the excavator may commence the excavation.
MOCS operators will offer direct contact phone numbers for utilities named on No Response tickets.
However, to ensure the safety of the excavation crews and the public, it is suggested that you do not begin work until you are confident that all facilities have been marked correctly.
Any person, including an excavator or utility, who commits a violation of any requirement is subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation per day, possibly totaling up to $500,000. Such penalties may be sought by the Missouri Attorney General or local prosecuting attorneys. (see 319.045 #3).
There is no language in the law requiring facilities to be at a certain depth.
Utilities may have a "spec depth" that they install their facilities at but erosion or landscaping can change that depth.
It is recommended that the excavator never assume the depth of any facility.