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Public Vs. Private Utility Lines

What does or does not get marked?

Professional excavators are the last line of defense in protecting underground utility lines.

As an excavator or contractor, you play an important role in our efforts to keep citizens safe. If you are excavating a new building, repairing buried infrastructure, landscaping, residential paving, building concrete slabs, or anything else that requires you to break ground, you must contact Missouri 811.

Contacting Missouri 811 will help protect your project from unnecessary damages, injuries and financial penalties. We notify buried infrastructure owners that you are excavating. Once notified, they will then let you know where cables, pipes and wires are buried.

Be safe. Know what’s below.

The Process

Notify Missouri 811

Request a utility locate online or by phone at 811 at least three full working days prior to excavation. 

Utilities Are Notified

Missouri 811 will notify any public utility companies within your dig site while you wait the required time.

Utilities Mark Their Lines

The utilities will locate and mark their lines, or provide an all clear notification.

Confirm the Marks

You confirm the marks and utility statuses.

Dig with Care!

Do you know what's below?

Utility color codes are used to identify existing underground utilities in construction areas with the intent of protecting them from damage during excavation. This is done with either flags or a special spray paint, neither of which will cause long-term harm to your lawn.

The American Public Works Association (APWA) Uniform Color Codes for temporary marking of underground utilities are listed below:


Proposed Excavation


Temporary Survey Markings


Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit and Lightning Cables


Communication, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit


Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum or Gaseous Materials


Sewers and Drain Lines


Potable Water


Reclaimed Water, Irrigation and Slurry Lines

Advance Ticketing

The Advanced Ticketing tool allows schedulers to plan out projects during the planning process, often months in advance of breaking ground. When utilizing the Advanced Ticketing tool, users can place locate requests in a ‘tentative’ status and will receive an automatic email notification 7 days in advance of the project start date that was entered in the ITIC system. When the notification is received, the user will be prompted to either submit the locate request, edit the request, or delete it altogether. From here, the scheduler can proceed with finalizing the locate as their excavation plans dictate.

Ticket Types

Routine Ticket

This is a regular locate request. Utilities must respond within 3 working days.

Emergency Ticket

Only to be requested when the situation meets the legal definition of an emergency. Utilities must respond in 2 hours.

Dig Up Ticket

Excavators are legally required to only notify Missouri 811 when damage to facilities has occurred. If damage involves pipeline or natural gas facilities, both 911 and the affected utility must also be notified.

No Response Ticket

To be requested when one or more utilities fail to respond to the original locate request. 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.

Renewal Ticket

To be used when previous marks are not visible and need to be remarked due to weather or construction. This is also required if excavation has not started within 10 business days. Utilities must respond within 3 working days.

Incorrect Locate Ticket

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.

Design Tickets

Knowing what utilities are involved in the planning states of a project is an important aspect of damage prevention. Individuals involved in planning a project should use one of the two types of “Design” tickets available. Excavation cannot take place on either type of design ticket. A routine locate request must be placed before beginning work.

Preliminary Design Ticket

The “Preliminary Design” ticket identifies all members within a given area. A list of contacts and phone numbers are made available to the requestor. No locate request is transmitted to member utilities. A routine locate request must be placed before beginning work.

Design Ticket

The second type of Design ticket will generate an actual locate request allowing a (5) working day response time by the member utilities notified. A routine locate request must be placed before beginning work.