Capital Electric Cooperative logo
Capital Electric Cooperative, Inc. Home

Call Before You Dig

Building a deck? Planting a tree? Installing a mailbox?


811 is the new number to call before you begin any digging project. A new, federally mandated national “Call Before You Dig” number, 811 was created to help protect you from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on digging projects.

Make the call and you’ll be notified of any dangers lurking underground—like utility lines or gas lines. Once you provide your name, phone number, proposed digging time and location, utility companies will mark the location of their underground lines for free.

Call Before You Dig is available by calling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fill out an online locate request

It's the Law

North Dakota citizens must, by law, call the Call Center with the pertinent information on the location in question 48 hours in advance. The utilities must then dispatch their own everyday lifesavers - personnel to mark the location of their facilities or indicate an "all clear" within 48 hours of the request. Violation of the law (ND Code: Chapter 49-23) may result in steep fines or lawsuits for accidental property or utility line damage; or, in the worst-case scenario, someone's injury or death.

Top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I just call Capital Electric Cooperative to request a locate instead of North Dakota One Call?

No.  Capital Electric Cooperative will only perform locates when notified by North Dakota One Call.  This ensures that ALL underground system operators will be properly notified and not just Capital Electric Cooperative.  For everyone’s safety: Should you call us for a locate request, we will politely ask you to request the locate through North Dakota One Call.

Top of page

When should I call?

A: Anytime you plan to excavate, including digging. Whether it's a small or a large construction project or homeowner project, call North Dakota One Call 48 hours prior to excavating (excluding weekends and/or holidays). North Dakota One Call will notify the owners/operators of underground facilities who participate in North Dakota One Call. The various underground facility operators will dispatch "locate" personnel to the area to mark the underground facility locations with flags and paint markings, showing where underground facilities are located so the excavator can avoid damaging the facilities.

North Dakota law applies to professional contractors as well as homeowners, and encompasses a wide array of outdoor projects including:

  • Installing a fence
  • Planting trees or shrubs
  • Building a patio, addition, deck, garage, outdoor shed or any similar structure that requires any form of digging
  • Putting in a new driveway
  • Installing a septic system or water drainage system
  • Terracing or landscaping that disturbs the soil to a depth of twelve inches or more

Top of page

When should I not call?

North Dakota One Call provides notification service for utility location requests only. North Dakota One Call should not be contacted for any of the following reasons:

  • To report any type of service outage due to weather conditions
  • To resolve any type of utility billing problem
  • To report any excavation outside of North Dakota
  • To request any type of facility removal or relocation (including meter removals prior to demolition of a building)
  • To request initiation of any type of utility service
  • To provide maps, plans or drawings of the proposed excavation

Top of page

What is a ticket number?

Each locate request that is processed is assigned a ticket number by the computer. This number contains all the information about your call.  North Dakota One Call retains a record of all excavation You can inquire online about your call locate ticket number by clicking here.

Top of page

Is there a charge for locating?

No, the locate service is free as long as there is a 48-hour advance notice given prior to excavation (excluding weekends and holidays). Be aware that any underground facilities utilized only for the benefit of the property owner or occupant, or homeowner-added improvements, will not be marked.

Top of page

What is the tolerance zone digging around markings?

Facility operators mark the horizontal location of underground facilities but do not locate for depth. "Horizontal location of any underground facility" is defined as including an area two feet on either side of the underground facility.

Top of page

Should I mark the digging site?

Operators of underground facilities mark the location of their underground facility to conform with the uniform color code established by the American Public Works Association's utility locations and coordination council. It is extremely helpful for any proposed excavation site to be outlined in white paint or white flags by the excavator to reduce any confusion as to where the proposed excavation will occur. Let the North Dakota One Call representative know if you have outlined your site with white paint or flags.

Top of page

How long is the marking good for?

An excavator may not use a location more than ten days, or any extension of that period, after the planned excavation date.  If the excavation will continue for a longer period of time, the excavator may contact the North One Call Center to have the lines re-marked.

Top of page

Are all utilities in the area of excavation being notified?

All underground facility operators participating in North Dakota One Call will be notified.

Top of page

What is an emergency excavation?

An emergency excavation is defined as sudden, unexpected occurrence, involving a clear and imminent danger, and demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of, or damage to, life, health, property, or essential public services.  When calling in an emergency excavation request, inform the North Dakota One Call representative that an emergency situation exists and be prepared to explain. The request will be processed immediately.

Top of page

Call Before You Dig logo

4111 State Street North || Bismarck, ND|| Toll-free: 888-223-1513 || Local: 701-223-1513 || Email Capital Electric
Copyright © || All Rights Reserved || Site Developed in part by Basin Electric Power Cooperative