Frequently Asked Questions
- There was a door hanger left at my house. What does this mean?
This is to inform you of planned utility installation at your house. We are given our assignments for this work from Century Link (Qwest) and/or Midcontinent Communications. It briefly outlines a timeframe (weather permitting) for the work to be done and inform you that if you have private utilities you will need to locate them to minimize chances for damage.
- What are the white flags for?
The white flags show the proposed route we will be taking for the excavation. Each utility has its own identifying color that is used to mark existing utilities. We ask that you do not move or remove these flags. We will remove them upon completion of the work. They are there to guide the public utility locators of our planned excavation so that we do not have to mark up your entire yard.
- Does someone need to be here when the lines are installed?
No. Homeowners do not need to be present when the work is being done.
- What are private utilities?
A private utility is one the homeowner had installed that is not a public utility such as power, telephone or cable. Examples of private utilities are: underground dog fence, sprinkler system, propane lines, power lines that serve out buildings such as garage, shed or barn.
- What if I don't know where my private lines run?
Private lines are the responsibility of the homeowner. There are companies that can be hired to do private utility locating. However, if you contact us and let us know there are private utilities we can take precautions to minimize damage.
- Who marks the public utilities?
By law, we are required to contact the One Call System a minimum of 48 hours before we dig. The information we provide on the ticket is dispatched to locators for all public utilities in the work area. These locators will mark the public utilities before we dig.
- What if I have a locked gate?
We ask that you contact us to set up a time convenient for you to allow us in the gate. Occasionally, we will call in the locate ticket requesting a meet on site. This allows the locators in your yard just prior to the work being performed. This is done to eliminate the need for your gate to be left unlocked.
- How much damage will be done to my yard?
When we finish a job, we do perform site restoration. This may involve packing or tamping the plow scar, black dirt and seeding, etc..
The next question outlines the various methods of placement and the degree of disturbance to your yard.
- What methods are used to place utilities?
A SOD SLIT is when a spade is placed in the ground and the sod is pried open. The cable is laid in the opening and the sod is pushed back together. This is done when a shallow depth is acceptable and necessary to avoid damage to other buried utilities.
PLOW is when a small lawn plow, or sneaker, lowers a blade into the ground and the cable is fed into the ground off the blade. The remaining plow scar is less than 3 inches wide for the length of the cable. Crews pack or tamp the scar to make it less visible. In cases of long or rural drops, a larger machine is used in the same manner, but the scar width is around 6 inches.
A TRENCHER is commonly used when more than one utility is being installed or for the installation of duct banks.
DIRECTIONAL BORING is where rods are pushed beneath the surface and utilities or conduit are pulled back. This method is used for any of the following reasons: greater depth required, less surface disturbance, larger utilities are being installed (water/sewer pipe), crowded or congested sites, etc.
- When is site restoration done?
In most cases, site restoration is done immediately upon completion of the work. However, in cases where the ground is very wet or other conditions apply, we will wait until it dries up so we don't make the situation worse. We do keep track of these so that we can periodically check on them and complete the work as soon as possible.
- Work is being done in my yard but it is not for me, it is for my neighbor. Why are you in my yard?
Occasionally lines are run through neighboring yards to reach the terminal. When this occurs, we try to contact all effected homeowners.
- How long does this work usually take?
When we come to do the work, it is generally completed the day it is started. In rare instances, the work may take a second day to complete.
- My questions have not been answered on this page, now what?
If you have questions about work we have performed or will be performing, please contact our office and we will answer them to the best of our abilities.