MISS DIG 811-Identifying Underground Utilities

MISS DIG 811-Identifying Underground Utilities

By ACP Entertainment | December 6, 2023

If you’ve already booked your event with us, you may have seen in an email or your contract that we require you to call MISS DIG 811. You then probably thought to yourself, “well why do I have to do that?” In this article we’ll explain the reason for MISS DIG 811, why you have to call them and what it is they do.


Copyright MISS DIG System, Inc.

MISS DIG 811 is a non-profit corporation that consumers and contractors alike can utilize at no cost to identify underground utilities before breaking ground. MISS DIG has a network of over 1,700 utility companies that they work with to identify underground gas, communication, water, sewer and electric lines. MISS DIG does NOT identify your sprinkler lines or any buried cable that you put underground yourself.


You may not realize it, but most likely there are multiple pipes and wires below the outdoor surface that you walk on. In a 10×20 foot space, there may be gas, water, telephone, sewer and electrical lines-all right there! Now imagine hammering a large metal stake into the ground and hitting an electrical line….ZAP! Or worse, hitting a gas line….KABOOM! This is why MISS DIG 811 exists. In fact, in Michigan identifying underground utilities before digging is the law!


When you hire ACP Entertainment, or even another inflatable or tent rental company, and you plan for us to be on grass and use stakes to anchor the inflatables, identifying buried lines is a must. The good news is, it’s free! MISS DIG does not charge contractors or consumers for it’s services because the utility service providers are the ones doing the on site surveying.


Make sure you call MISS DIG 10 -14 days before your event, but not any longer than that. MISS DIG will send out the companies with underground utilities in your area to mark your property what’s underground.


When you contact MISS DIG, whether by phone or online, they will ask you for a list of details about where the “Dig Site” is and what you’ll be doing. The “Dig Site” is where you’ll be breaking ground. Keep in mind, MISS DIG mainly works with contractors that are digging holes in the ground, not driving tent/inflatable stakes. So to keep it simple, just use their terminology and everyone will be on the same page. Let them know where you’re “digging” (putting stakes into the ground) with as much detail as you can and possibly attach a drawing. After your submission is made, and about 3 days before your “dig” date (event date), the utility companies will come and mark your yard.


Now you know what you need to do and why, but how about what NOT to do? Well the two things that you do not want to do is tell them the details about the event and who is doing the work. Not that you’re trying to hide anything, but it’s just unnecessary details for them. Use the term “digging” or “dig date” and keep it at that. Why do we recommend not telling MISS DIG who’s doing the work? Well, this is where 811 and us have our differing opinions.


Often, but not all the time, customers will call us and say that MISS DIG told them that we (the contractor) need to call to request the survey. This may be their rules, but quite frankly it’s just not feasible. For one, we do over 500 events a year. We quite literally don’t have the resources to call 811 for every single event that we do. But the biggest reason that we have you (the customer) call MISS DIG is we don’t know where you plan to put the inflatables/stakes in your yard. If we were to order the survey, we’d have to have them mark your entire property which means flags and paint everywhere, including on the sidewalks and driveway. Quite frankly, we don’t want to upset you by having contractors tramp all around your yard and spray painting your driveway. With you submitting the request for a survey, you can identify exactly where they need to identify underground utilities in your yard.


So when you call in to MISS DIG or submit your request online, do not name us as the contractor company, instead say you’re doing the work yourself.


We’ll probably get flack from MISS DIG for this article because it’s “not the rules,” but sometimes policies and rules just don’t make sense and this is one of them. Whether the contractor or the customer calls to request a survey, the outcome will be the exact same.


So in summary, YES you need to call MISS DIG if we are using stakes to secure inflatables on your property. YES you still need to call if you think you know what is and what isn’t underground on your property. And as mentioned, tell them that you’re doing the digging yourself.


Get Started:

File Online: https://www.missdig811.org/

File by Phone: Dial 811


We hope that this article helped better explain 811 and the need for their services in the preparation stages of your event. As always, if you have additional questions please do not hesitate to give our team a call at 616-826-8220.




Source: https://www.missdig811.org/

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