RCA Advises Homeowners and Excavators to Use Caution;
Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig.

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) advises homeowners and excavators to use caution and exercise reasonable care to prevent damage to utility facilities.  Under Alaska Statute 42.30.490 excavation means: 

·   an activity in which earth, rock, or other material on or below the ground is moved or otherwise displaced by any means;

·   road maintenance that changes the original road grade;

·  demolition or movement of earth by equipment, tools, or explosive device except tilling of the soil less than 12 inches in depth for agricultural purposes.

Call 8-1-1 at least two business days before starting any excavation work. Owners of underground utilities, such as telephone, water, electricity, and natural gas, have cooperated in providing 8-1-1 as a one-call utility locate service. 

Depth of utility lines vary.  By law, homeowners and excavators are required to request a locate service. The 8-1-1 locate service was established to enable the public, contractors, utilities and other excavators to notify underground facility owners of planned excavation activities.  If a homeowner or excavator damages a utility line before a locate service could be completed, the damage and all administrative costs may be billed to the homeowner or excavator.    Last year, according to ENSTAR, homeowners and excavators damaged over 400 meters, service lines and gas mains.  The number one cause of damage was failure to obtain utility locates. 

The RCA advises homeowners and excavators to call the 8-1-1 locate service to reduce damage to underground as well as above ground facilities.  For further information, visit the Alaska Digline website.

Date Issued: 6/3/2010