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Chapter 3

3.20 Accept Multiple Reference Points for Locate Requests

Practice Statement:

The 811 center can accept multiple types of points of reference to define the exact location of an excavation site (e.g., latitude/longitude, highway/railroad/pipeline mile markers, address, street/cross street, etc.).

Practice Description:

The 811 center’s locate request-taking processes and computer system are designed to accept and process multiple types of reference points used by callers to (1) describe the location of their work and (2) define the excavation site. Examples of different types of reference points include highway mile markers, railroad mileposts, valid address or street/cross street, latitude longitude, township/range/section, city, county, political and mail address (ZIP code) boundaries, etc. All stakeholders involved in the one call process receive a corresponding benefit when the 811 center can define the excavation site as specifically as possible. The facility operator’s job of determining the existence of a potential conflict is expedited, field personnel can find and mark the affected area much easier, and the excavator receives timely markings covering the area of excavation. Standardizing a limited set of criteria reduces the flexibility of the system to serve the excavator and facility owner/operator. The 811 center invests in systems and processes that permit inclusion of a variety of types of reference points in defining the excavation site. The 811 center takes steps to link these reference points to the database used to register the facility operator’s desired area of notification, thereby helping to reduce overnotification.


  • “Model One Call for the 20th and 21st Century,” AT&T (was available when the practice was created but is no longer available)

  • Existing operating practices from various states’ 811 centers

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