Town Talk: You ask, we answer

Why are there flags in my yard?

The Gopher State One Call (GSOC) is Minnesota’s one call notification center for the excavating community. The GSOC center answers phone calls and online requests from homeowners and contractors who would like to excavate. The information is then processed and all underground utilities in the proposed excavation area are notified to mark that area. You must contact GSOC to complete a locate ticket at least 48 hours before excavating. Gopher State One Call will process your ticket free of charge.

White flags and paint are used to mark the proposed excavation site. This work area could extend for many blocks or just a few square feet. Usually you would be notified by the excavator that they will be digging near you. However, the locate ticket could say to mark so many feet on either side of the white flags. This could put flags in an area outside of the work area in some directions. Or the flags could be marking a proposed route so the excavator can map other utilities in a future project. If you see flags on your property and you did not request a locate, it is possible that your neighbor or a local utility is having some excavation work done. Do not remove the flags, they will be removed by the party that called in the locate request.

The color code for underground utilities is as follows: Pink flags: Temporary survey marks. Red flags: Electric lines. Yellow flags: Natural gas, Oil, Steam, or Propane. Orange flags: Communication cables. Blue flags: Water. Purple flags: Reclaimed Water, Irrigation. Green flags: Sewer. Clear flags: No conflict.

The flags locators leave behind are all marked with the name of the utility and a phone number that you can call.

More information can be found at www.gopherstateonecall.org

Always call before you dig!

Call GSOC at 811 or 1-800-252-1166

Editor’s Note: The City of New Ulm presents a weekly column highlighting activities in different departments in the city government. Once a month the city will answer questions from readers. Questions on New Ulm city issues can be sent to comments@ci.new-ulm.mn.us.

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