3.25 Identification of Unknown Lines
The 811 center has a defined and documented policy for handling calls from excavators regarding the discovery of an unidentified line.15
To facilitate damage prevention, 811 centers have an established procedure that is implemented when an excavator calls and reports an unidentified facility. The action taken could be as simple as renotifying all affected facility operators in the absence of any other specific requirement of state or local law.
- Many 811 centers process a “Dig Up” request when an unidentified line has been exposed (Texas). Others simply reissue the locate request with an appropriate remark (Maryland, Delaware). Some state laws mandate that additional specific action be taken by the facility operators upon receipt of these types of notices (Arizona, which currently requires an “unknown line policy” to be in effect via the Arizona 811 Center). The law requires that the 811 center “establish a method of providing personnel from a facility owner qualified to safely inspect and verify that the facility is abandoned or active and a method for reimbursing the verifying facility owner for the cost incurred.”