Gopher State One Call
Gopher State One Call (GSOC) is the statewide notification center for
excavation for the state of Minnesota.
To request a locate, please call 811.
For additional information
locate requests in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does GSOC work?
GSOC takes detailed information from callers who are doing excavation work, processes it in a computer, and notifies underground utility operators that may have facilities in the described work area. These underground utility operators send out locators to locate their underground utilities with appropriate colors.
By law, the underground utility operators have 48 hours to mark their underground utilities. Underground utility operators do not have the responsibility to mark any private utilities.
Therefore, care should be exercised anytime digging takes place.
Who should call?
Anyone digging in the state of Minnesota must call GSOC before they dig, if they are using power equipment. Even when hand-digging, a person is encouraged to call if he/she is unfamiliar with the location of underground utilities.
The person who is doing the work is responsible for calling GSOC. If the homeowner does his or her own excavation work, the homeowner is responsible for calling GSOC. If the homeowner hires a contractor to do the work, the contractor is responsible for calling.
What if I don't call before I dig?
Calling GSOC isn't just a good idea
it's the LAW.
GSOC is a crucial damage-prevention service. A person may have underground utilities buried in their yard and not know about them. To repair these buried utilities could be very costly, and to hit a utility could be extremely dangerous or fatal.
What does this service cost?
There is no cost to homeowners or excavators for the service that GSOC provides. GSOC is a non-profit organization and is supported by all the underground utilities in the
state of Minnesota.
When should a call be made?
A call to GSOC should be made at least 48 hours (excluding weekends, holidays, and emergencies) prior to the start of the digging. The GSOC office hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.
- 5 p.m.
What types of questions will be asked?
GSOC answering attendants will ask detailed information about the work site. Some of the questions include: what type of work is being done, where is the work site located, how long will the work take, and what are the township, range, section, and quarter section coordinates (the legal description) of the work site.
The last piece of information - the legal description of the property - is very important.
This information may be obtained from property tax statements. If the legal information is not provided, GSOC answering attendants must consult maps and research the area.
Once the call is complete, a ticket number will be issued. This ticket number is very important and should be kept until the work is completed in case any questions arise. It also serves as proof that the call center was notified.
What should be done before the call?
In addition to looking up the legal description, marking the excavation site in white is very helpful. Wooden, white stakes or white paint should be used to outline the proposed excavation area. If there are no white markings indicating the proposed work site, the utility operators may mark the entire lot.
What happens after the call?
Once the underground utilities are notified, it is their job to determine whether they need to locate their underground utilities near the proposed dig site. Remember, they may not mark any private utilities (i.e. power to garage, gas grill or LP lines, etc.). If they determine that they do not need to locate utilities, they call
GSOC back and indicate such.
After 24 hours from the initial call, a person may call back to GSOC, provide the answering attendant with the ticket number, and they will be able to verify what utilities have cleared the area.
If the utilities cannot clear the work area, they will mark the location of underground utilities on the lot.
If the dig site has been marked with white stakes, the utilities will mark out that area. If no white stakes are used, they may mark the entire lot. Utilities usually use paint or flags to mark the area, depending on soil and weather conditions. The color codes are:
What should be done after the area is marked?
- yellow - gas/oil
- orange - communication/CATV
- blue - water
- green - sewer
- fluorescent pink - temporary survey markings
- white - proposed excavation
Anyone who conducts
excavation work in the state of Minnesota is considered an excavator.
This designation comes with certain responsibilities. For a complete
list of responsibilities, please contact GSOC at 811. An outline of responsibilities include:
- After the
underground utilities have been marked and the 48-hour timeframe has
elapsed, the excavation work may commence.
- Once the digging has begun,
a minimum clearance of two-feet between a marked and unexposed
underground utility and the cutting edge or point of any
power-operated equipment must be kept.
- If excavation is required
within two-feet of any marking, the excavation should be performed
very carefully with hand tools. If there has been any damage to an
underground utility or if there is suspicion of damage, it is the
excavator's responsibility to immediately notify the underground