Arizona Blue Stake was established as a one-call notification system by underground facility owners such as water, cable, gas, telephone, and electric to assist excavators in notifying underground facility owners prior to digging. This damage prevention service is provided free of charge to any individual or company planning to dig. The following list will provide you valuable knowledge before you dig.
What you should know before you dig.
Before you do any digging, or hire a company to dig (or excavate), the law says you must first contact Arizona Blue Stake to determine whether or not there may be underground utilities at your dig site. Underground utilities are generally located in the easement either in your front yard or an alley if your home backs up to one. Homeowners, excavators, and utility companies all have certain responsibilities that must be met prior to any digging taking place. there are also several different colors used for marking utilities, depending on what utilities actually exist at your dig site.
By participating in the Blue Stake Program, you are:
Complying with state law - Arizona's Damage Prevention Laws, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Rules require all utility owners to clearly mark any utility that may conflict with any ground digging.
Avoiding injuries - Incident damage to utilities can cause injury to anyone near the dig site.
Preventing costly damages and interruptions of facility services - Clearly marking the utility before digging reduces potential interruption of utility services to customers.
Saving time and money - Utility accidents can slow down construction schedules and can be costly to repair.
Avoiding hazards - Clearly identifying utility locations through the Blue Stake procedures allows construction activities to avoid potential hazards.
Eliminating needless construction delays - Avoiding incidental utility damages keeps construction schedules on time, reducing noise, service interruptions, traffic congestion and annoyance to local neighbors.
How do I contact Arizona Blue Stake?
Before you dig, call
811 (or 1-800-782-5348). For more information regarding Arizona Blue Stake check out their web site at
Homeowners' & Excavators' Responsibility
Call Arizona Blue Stake at least two full working days before you dig. Be prepared to provide the location of the excavation site, including address and cross streets. The Blue Stake Agents will ask a few questions regarding the extent of your digging activities. If you have legal descriptions of your job site (township, range, section and quarter section) please provide that as well.
The Blue Stake Agent will provide a notice number and the names of the utility companies that will be responding to your Blue Stake Request. If the caller and the excavator are not the same person, make sure that this information is provided to the excavator. Also inform the Blue Stake Agent if any additional contractors will be involved with your excavation. If possible, have your dig site marked with white paint. White paint helps the locators find your site (this is especially true in difficult to describe locate requests.)
Utility companies have two working days to respond to your Blue Stake request. Do not begin any excavation until all utilities have responded by either marking the excavation site or clearing the site (no conflict) by a telephone call. If any utility company fails to respond to your request, contact Arizona Blue Stake and they will transmit another message requesting immediate response.
Markings are valid for 15 working days. If you need to dig past this time frame, call Arizona Blue Stake two full working days before the expiration date and inform the Blue Stake Agent that you need to continue to dig in this area.
Immediately report any and all damages to any underground facility directly to the utility owner. All damages, including nicks in cables and dents in steel, can and will eventually cause the underground facility to fail.
Utility owners have two working days to respond to a Utility Marking request. The Blue Stake agent will provide the marking due date to the requester at the time of the call. Utility companies are required to respond to every request received.
Utility owners will mark only what they own and maintain; typically this means they will mark only to their meter. anything beyond the meter is customer owned and maintained, and may not be marked by the utility company.
Utility Companies are required to use the International Color Coding system for identifying underground lines.
Facility Type - Specific Color
|Electric Power Distribution & Transmission
|Gas Distribution and Transmission, Oil Product Distribution and Transmission; Dangerous Materials, Product Lines
||High Visibility Safety Yellow|
|Telephone and Telegraph System; Cable Television
|Fiber Optics Communication Lines
|Water Systems; Slurry Pipelines Safety
|Sanitary Sewer Systems
|Reclaimed or Non-potable Water