- Public Works
- What's below each flag?
What's below each flag?
You've probably noticed colored flags in your yard or around town. Flags mean someone in the area is planning to dig, and contacted Gopher State One Call (GSOC) to file a locate request. This is the responsible thing to do. Once called, GSOC notifies utilities to dispatch locators to the site to mark the location of buried lines with colored flags that correspond to specific utility types. Work being performed by the contractors is almost always in the right-of-way, or within an existing utility easement.
What does the color mean on the flag?
The American Public Works Association (APWA) has developed a color code for marking underground utilities, making it easy to immediately identify any utilities in the proposed excavation area.
Can I remove the flag?
It's crucial to preserve and maintain the location of flags. Obscured or displaced markings may lead to accidental damage. Residents shouldn't mow over, or remove the flags, especially if they value their water, sewer, gas, internet, phone, or other services. If you need or want to remove the flags, please call 811 and speak with an operator or call your local utility company. Reference the chart above to find out which utility company you should get in touch with.
Is this going to affect my lawn?
The flags in your lawn doesn't mean your lawn will be effected. Many times, individuals or companies don't have the information needed to pin-point the locators to the exact spot of the work. Instead, they will call in several properties to make sure that the locators have marked the proposed area.
What if I have a private underground line?
Private utility lines and private distribution networks do not get marked by facility operators. When a property owner or tenant has any type of private line, they are responsible to locate those facilities or hire someone to locate them. Private lines include any that serve outbuildings, irrigation or sprinkler systems, hot tubs, security lighting, pet fences, pools, and natural gas grills. GSOC applies ONLY to public facility operators.
If you plan to dig, contact 811 (GSOC), at least 48 hours before you begin, excluding weekends and holidays. Contacting GSOC helps to prevent damage to underground utilities, injuries, and the disruption of essential services. For more information or to submit a request ticket visit Gopher State One Call.