Positive Response

Sunshine 811 provides the Positive Response System as a way for member utility companies to communicate with excavators about their job sites. A utility enters one of 23 positive response codes that lets you know if a utility is marked, unmarked, not in conflict (clear) or high priority. Unmarked codes also provide a brief explanation of why your site is unmarked and whether the utility is waiting on information from you.

Viewing Positive Response

You can access the Positive Response System online from any browser, phone or tablet.

  1. Click here to view the responses for your locate ticket.

  2. Then click Search here.

If you prefer calling, the number is (800) 852-8057. But, keep in mind that accessing the responses by phone or tablet in the field lets you easily compare the codes provided to what you see so you can determine whether it is safe to dig.

Why do I need to confirm utility response?

  • It’s required by law!

  • It may clarify why there are no locate marks (i.e. the utility is waiting for you to white line, the utility wants to be present so the marks are fresh, no response from utility).

  • Sometimes there are marks but they come with extra instructions.

  • There is an unmarked utility just like the marked utility; or

  • The line is high profile and the utility wants to observe digging; or

  • The line is a high-priority subsurface installation and you MUST let the utility know when you are digging. These are transmission or distribution pipelines with hazardous or highly-volatile liquids.

When am I supposed to confirm the utility responses?

  • BEFORE going to the site. The utility may be waiting for you to white line, provide gate code, unlock gate, etc., before locating.

  • AT the site before digging. Make sure the marks match the positive response codes.

Things that can indicate something is not quite right: 

  • A utility leaves a “Marked” code and there are no marks for that utility in the field.

  • Permanent utility markers near area where a “Clear” code was used.

There are many other situations. If in doubt, call the utility.