Farmer/Rancher Information for Safe Digging – Iowa One Call


When underground facilities such as gas pipelines, fiber optic cables and water lines are disrupted by farming excavations, so are the lives of Iowa’s farming communities. Notifying Iowa One Call prior to all of your excavations outside the scope of “Normal Farming Operations” will help keep your family, community, farm, or ranch safe from situations that occur when underground facilities are damaged.

Submit a Ticket

Don’t Assume You Know What’s Below!

White Lining

Excavators are required by law to identify the area of proposed excavation using white paint, stakes, or other suitable white markings in a manner that will enable utility operators to know the boundaries of the proposed excavation activities.

When Should I Call?

Iowa law requires all farmers and ranchers to notify Iowa One Call at least 48 hours prior (excluding the day of the notice, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) to all terracing and waterway projects, new fence post installations, tiling, subsoiling, ripping or plowing below fifteen (15) inches in depth.

When you have a project that requires digging, your first step is to contact Iowa One Call. You can do this by calling 811 or 1-800-292-8989. You can also file your locate requests online by clicking on the “Submit a Ticket” button above.

Things To Remember

“Normal Farming Operations” means plowing, cultivating, planting, harvesting, and similar operations routine to most farms, but excludes chisel plowing, sub-soiling, or ripping more than fifteen inches in depth, drain tile excavating, terracing, digging or driving a post in a new location other than replacing a post while repairing a fence in its existing location, and similar operations.

The Excavator Makes the Call

The person doing the actual excavation work is required to notify Iowa One Call at least 48 hours (excluding the day of the notice, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) prior to excavating. If the farmer is doing his own work, then that farmer needs to make the notification. If the farmer has contracted a third party to do the excavating, then it is the responsibility of that third party to make the notification (not the farmer).

Excavator Manual

What is the Process for Safe Digging?

1) Excavator Files Locate Request

(White-lining or pre-marking the dig site is strongly encouraged)

2) Iowa One Call processes & submits locate requests to facility operators

3) Facility operators mark dig site or advise if they are ‘clear’

4) Excavator digs with care, avoiding damages

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