Excavator Instructions

Safe digging is everyone's responsibility. But excavator's have many responsibilities under the law. Getting a ticket is just the first step, and sometimes it takes more than one call. The excavator process is below. Click on the graphic to view larger, download and/or print. 


Excavation is planned. White lining your proposed dig site with white paint, flags or stakes is recommended, but required when a utility cannot understand the locate description.


Contact Sunshine 811 at 811 or sunshine811.com to request a ticket. A ticket is valid 30 calendar days.


Wait the required time (2 full business days for regular dig sites and 10 full business days when digging underwater) for utilities to clear or mark the dig site. The wait time does not include weekends and holidays.


Check the Positive Response System throughout the required time frame to follow each member’s progress. This also gives you time to respond to any instructions before the required wait time expires. Get full access to positive response with Xtreme access. Complete form at sunshine811.com. Easily access positive response with the Sunshine 811 app. Text APP to 345345.


Each utility responds to your ticket using a positive response code that indicates Clear or No Conflict, Marked, Unmarked. Both Marked and Unmarked codes may have instructions requiring your response.


Utilities send their locators to mark underground facilities within the required time. Sunshine 811 does NOT mark underground facilities.


All utilities have responded. You did what the utility asked you to do. Now, you can proceed to the site. But before you put a shovel in the ground, view the positive response summary again on the Sunshine 811 app. Compare the marks you see at the dig site to the positive response codes. If they don’t match, contact the utility for clarification.


Once it’s safe to dig, remember the marks are approximate and you must dig carefully near them. The underground facility’s tolerance zone is 24 inches from the outer edges of a buried facility. Protect the locate marks throughout the project and request another ticket if the marks become faded or destroyed.


Learn on the go

Check out our 811 process videos. Ten videos ranging from two to five minutes that quickly take you from preparing for 811 to safe digging. 

What do the colors mean?

Utilities are marked according to APWA Uniform Color Codes. The chart below shows which utility type each color represents.

Want more convenience?

If you request multiple tickets or want to request them after hours, Internet Ticket Entry is a good option for you. Click below for more information or to sign up for ITE.

Know the law

Sunshine 811 cannot interpret the law or determine liability for individual situations. It's best that you learn the law to make informed decisions. Click below to access.