Call Before You Dig

Whether you're a homeowner or professional excavator, if you're going to dig you must call USA North - the one call center serving Central and Northern California and all of Nevada. Excavations in California and Nevada require a full two (2) working day notice. In addition to your personal safety and the safety of others, calling before you dig is about protecting the vital buried facilities that supply electric, gas, water, cable and more to our homes, schools, facilities and businesses. Remember, it's the law and it's free.

5 Steps to A Safe Excavation



1. Survey and Mark


Survey your proposed excavation site. Make a list of affected operators of underground facilities (operators) at your job site, their needs and requirements. Mark the excavation site on paved surfaces with white spray chalk, water base, UV paint or equivalent less permanent type marking; use flags, stakes, whiskers, etc. on unpaved surfaces. (Homeowners can use flour).

2. Call Before You Dig


Call USA North two (2) days to 14 calendar days (legal notice) before you dig in Nevada. Only operators who are members of the USA North program will be notified. Compare your list of affected operators determined in Step 1, with the list of operators notified by USA North. For your safety, contact any operator at your job site that is not a member of USA North. USA North accepts design inquiry requests through its Internet application only. Call 925-798-9504 ext. 2309 for more information.

3. Wait The Required Time


The legal two (2) working days to 14 calendar days notice in Nevada allows USA North members to examine their underground facility records and respond to you. Excavators are required by law to wait until all operator(s) of subsurface installation have provided a positive response to their excavation site. The positive response includes operators marking, or staking the horizontal path of their facility with the appropriate color code, providing information about the location of their facility, or advising you of clearance. Depending on our member's workload, they may contact you to try to negotiate a new start time for your excavation.

4. Respect The Marks


Preserve facility marks for the duration of the job. If any of the operators' markings are not reasonably visible, you must call USA North and request re-marking by the affected operator(s). A re-mark request requires a 2 working day notice. When you request an operator(s) to re-mark their facilities, you will be asked if your excavation site is still outlined in white, so the USA North members can respond to your request. NOTE: A USA North ticket is active for 28 calendar days in Nevada from the date of it issuance. You must have an active USA North ticket for the entire duration of you excavation.

5. Dig With Care


In Nevada hand excavate within 24" of the outside diameter of the facility. Facilities that are in conflict with your excavation are to be located by using hand tools and protected before power equipment is used. Notify the affected operator(s) of any contact, scrape, dent, nick or damage to their facility.

Refer to Nevada Regulator Statue 455.080 - 455.180 for liability risks. There are fines of up to $100k for violations of these state laws.