Generally speaking, it is a violation of Fort Mojave Tribal Ordinances, State and Federal laws to begin any excavation without first calling the local One-Call locating service for the area in which the digging is planned. The need to call most often impacts professional builders and excavators, but homeowners can be affected as well. Most homeowners do not know what has been buried on their property over the years, either during lot development or before, and it is always risky to break ground without requesting underground facility location. Remember, if you break anything in the course of your project, you are responsible for the cost of repairing any damage to pipes, cable, electrical or telephone wiring that you may cause. Additionally, you may be liable for damages for lost service to other homes and businesses, and may face criminal penalties as well. Most importantly digging without knowing what is buried below may cause property loss, injury or in extreme cases even death.
FMTUA participates with two one call agencies – Arizona Blue Stake, and California/Nevada Dig Alert, which are available to you 24 hours a day. When you call, this free service will notify FMTUA and every other facility operator with an interest in the area of your project. These facility operators will send out representatives to clearly mark where their facilities are located before you dig, at no charge to you. The process is very simple:
- Prior to calling, mark the ground where you plan to dig using stakes or white paint. Hardware stores sell “upside down paint” for this purpose. Be sure to mark every area where you may break ground so that a technician can easily understand the extent of your project.
- Call the appropriate “one” call agency: Arizona Blue Stake at 1-800-STAKE-IT (1-800-782-5348), California Dig Alert at 1-800-422-4133 or Nevada Underground Service Alert at 1-800-227-2600 to request a locate. Have the address of the property, a clear verbal description of the site, a planned start date, and a contact phone number where you can be reached. You must allow a few days for facility operators to respond, so it is advisable to make the call 4 to 7 days before you plan to begin.
- The operator will determine the location of the site from your description and issue you a ticket number. AZ Blue Stake will then notify all facility operators of your project via phone, fax, or email.
- Each facility operator will then respond within 2 business days by either calling you with a “no conflict” declaration, meaning that they have no buried items in the area, or will send a technician out to the site to mark the location of buried objects. It is critical that the digging not begin until all facility operators have responded, so you will want to keep a list of “no conflict” callers, along with a list of companies who have marked the site. Once the facilities are marked you are free to begin digging, but remember that within 12″ of a buried item you are required to hand dig – no power equipment – to completely expose the pipe or cable beneath.
If these objects are to be exposed for any distance, you must also provide support structures sufficient to prevent damage. Call the owner for guidance and assistance. If you should happen to strike an unknown object, stop at once! Identify the item and call the appropriate company. Also call Blue Stake to report an unidentified buried object. They will send out an emergency locate notice to all interested companies and request them to help you immediately. Especially in the case of buried electrical and gas equipment you should not handle the lines or cable – accidental damage can be fatal. Let professionally trained operators handle these items for you!
Location marks will use colored paint which will indicate the type of service. These colors are (generally):
- Red Electric Power
- Yellow Gas & Oil Lines
- Orange Telephone & Cable TV
- Blue Water
- Green Sewer
- Purple Reclaimed Water (Effluent)