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Missouri One Call System (MOCS) 1-800-DIG-RITE or 811

FAQs

What Are The Legally Declared Holidays For Missouri?

Missouri Underground Facility Safety and Damage Prevention statute (RSMo Chapter 319) defines a “working day” as everyday, except Saturday, Sunday or a legally declared state, or federal holiday. The following is a schedule of legally declared holidays as provided by State Statue 9.010 RSMo 2000:

Click here to view the list of holidays that are recognized as Missouri State Holidays.

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.

When Is The Best Time To Call?

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.

What Questions Should I Expect?

In order to complete your locate request our operators will ask you the following questions:

  • Name
  • 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
  • City
  • House number
  • Street name
  • Names of the two intersecting streets that the job site is between

When Should I Call?

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.

Who Is Required To Call In?

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.

What Is An Emergency?

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.

What Is An Approximate Location?

"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.

When Should I Notify The Utilities Directly?

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

What Information Is Needed To Complete The  Call?

Caller Identification:
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.
Utilities Notified:
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.

What Happens After You Call?

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

Color codes required by law Red: Electric Yellow: Gas-Oil-Steam Orange: Communication-CATV Blue: Water Green: Sewer Fluorescent Pink: Temporary Survery Markings White: Proposed ExcavationPurple: Reclaimed water

What Are The Responsibilities Of The Excavator?

  • 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.

What Are The Responsibilities Of The Facility Owner

  • 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.

How Long is Notification Valid?

The state law says excavators must give notice at least two but not more than 10 working days before the work is to begin. Markings are valid as long as the markings are visible and usable as long as excavation begins within 10 working days.

When do you need to do a Renewal ticket?

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 required that the excavator contact the notification center to request remarking. Use the original locate request ticket number to identify the excavation site.

What Do I Do If The Utility Has Not Marked The Lines

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.

What Happens If The Excavator Or Utility Fails To Comply With Chapter 319?

Civil Penalties

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).

Why Did the Utility Only Mark their Facility up to their Meter?

Facility operators only mark the lines they install and maintain, which does not include privately owned lines. Private lines may include water and sewer services that the plumber installed or an electric line that runs to a detached garage/workshop.

Are Utilities Required To Be At A Certain "Depth"?

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.

Ticket Types and Response Times

ROUTINE - MO State Law – Excavator Manual page 38
This is a regular locate request.  Utilities must respond within 2 working days starting at midnight the day the ticket was called in.  

NO RESPONSE - MO State Law – Excavator Manual page 40
To be requested when one or more utilities fail to respond to the original locate request or when the markings are incomplete.

If notification is made before 2 pm, the marking shall be completed that working day.  If the notification is made after 2 pm, the marking is to be completed no later than 10 am the next working day.

EMERGENCY - MO State Law – Excavator Manual pages 27, 45-46
Only to be requested when the situation meets the legal definition of an emergency.  Utilities must respond in 2 hours.

DIG UP - MO State Law – Excavator Manual page 36
Excavator legally required to only notify MOCS when damage to facilities has occurred.  If damage involves pipeline or natural gas facilities, both 911 and the affected utility must also be notified.

REMARKS - MO State Law – Excavator Manual page 35-36
To be used when previous marks are not visible and need to be remarked due to weather, construction or work not starting.  Utilities must respond within 2 working days starting at midnight the day the ticket was called in.

PRELIMARY DESIGN - MO State Law – Excavator Manual page 37-38
To be requested to determine what facilities are present when planning a project.  Contact names and phone numbers will be immediately supplied.  No markings will be made.

DESIGN - MO State Law – Excavator Manual page 37-38
To be requested when planning a project.  Will generate actual markings at the site.  Excavation cannot take place on a design ticket.  A routine locate request must be place before beginning work.  Utilities are allowed 5 working days to respond.

INCORRECT LOCATE - MO State Law – Excavator Manual page 35
Ticket type to be requested when markings at the dig site are mismarked, out of the area described or at the wrong address.  Utilities must respond within 2 hours.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE UTILITIES ARE NOTIFIED
After all the information has been taken, the locate request is processed and immediately transmitted to the utilities.  Upon receipt of the locate request, the member utility reviews the information on the ticket to determine how best to respond.

Ticket Check/Locator Ticket Management (LTM) System

Legislation passed in 2014 requires all member utilities of Missouri One Call to status each locate request received. Once a locate request (aka ticket) has been located or cleared, the member utility will login to the Ticket Check System and designate the "status" of the locate. The status of the locate is then e-mailed or faxed back to the excavator. Excavators will be able to determine the utilities response without having to drive to the job site.

Missouri Ticket Status Codes

  • Clear/No Conflict
  • Marked
  • Area of Excavation cannot be determined
  • Not Complete/In Progress
  • Maps or other documentation provided
  • Locator could not gain access to property
  • No Locate - Work Complete

How it Works

  • The excavator calls the MOCS Call Center and places a locate request.
  • The ticket is logged into MOCS computer system and transmitted to member utilities and is logged in the Ticket Check System (NTMS).
  • Each member utility determines the proper response to the locate ticket and logs the status in the Ticket Check System.
  • Responses are stored and can be recalled and viewed with the ticket at any time.
  • Ticket Check closes the loop by sending a notice to the excavator with the status that has been supplied by each member utility.  Before even visiting the job site, the excavator has a record of the action each utility took.

Advantages for Member Utilities

  • Keeps member utilities in compliance with the law
  • It can replace the need to contact excavators directly
  • Responses can be made by individual statusing or by FTP*
  • We keep track of your statusing and records are available to both the member utility and the excavators.
  • Numerous search options for existing tickets - search by header, district, city, street, excavator, status, and/or date range
  • Use a single login to status multiple district codes

Registration

Email moltms@occinc.com or call 866-679-9076

What is trenchless excavation?

The Missouri Revised Statutes, RSMo Chapter 319, Section 319.015.1 defines “trenchless excavation” as:

(14) "Trenchless excavation", horizontal excavation parallel to the surface of the earth which does not use trenching or vertical digging as the primary means of excavation, including but not limited to directional boring, tunneling, or augering.

Safe Digging Education

Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility. It’s a free service to notify Missouri One Call of your planned excavation to help prevent damages that may result in fines, utility service interruption and injury or even death. The 5 short video segments below detail how to dig safely.

Always Call or Click Before you Dig! The Process.
Wait the Required Amount of Time
Confirming Utility Response
Understanding and Respecting the Marks
Safe Digging Practices