Gopher State One Call

State and federal laws require marking of all underground utilities before any excavation. Gopher State One Call (GSOC) is the statewide notification center for excavation for the state of Minnesota. To request a locate, call 811 or 800.252.1166, or submit your request online.

Do I need to call Gopher State One Call?

Yes. Calling or contacting Gopher State One Call online is not only a good idea, it’s the law. Minnesota Statute Chapter 216D is designed to protect your underground utilities and the public.

GSOC is a crucial damage prevention service. You may have underground utilities buried in your yard and not know about them. Repairing damaged underground utilities can be very costly, and hitting a utility could be extremely dangerous, resulting in injury or even death.

How does GSOC work?

GSOC takes detailed information from callers who plan to do excavation work and then notifies the utility company with underground utilities near the dig site, including Connexus Energy. The utility companies or a utility locating services company mark the locations of the utilities with corresponding paint and flags.

By law, underground utility operators have 48 hours (business days) to mark their underground utilities, but are not responsible for marking any private utilities. Care should be exercised any time digging takes place.

Who should call GSOC?

Anyone digging in the state of Minnesota must call GSOC before they dig using power equipment. Even when hand-digging, calling is encouraged if you’re not familiar with the location of the underground utilities. 

The person who is doing the work is responsible for calling GSOC. If the homeowner does their own excavation work, the homeowner is responsible for calling GSOC. If the homeowner hires a contractor, the contractor is responsible for calling.

How much does GSOC service cost?

There is no cost to homeowners or excavators for the service GSOC provides. GSOC is a non-profit organization and is supported by all underground utility providers in the state of Minnesota.

When should I call GSOC?

Call GSOC at least 48 hours (excluding weekends, holidays, and emergencies) prior to digging. GSOC is available for emergency calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. GSOC observes a summer/winter schedule for all routine calls:

April 1-October 31: 6 a.m.–6 p.m.
November 1-March 31: 7 a.m.–5 p.m.

Calls received outside of those hours, on weekends, and on holidays are accepted for emergencies only.

What types of questions should I expect?

GSOC representatives will ask a series of important, detailed questions about where and when you will be digging. Questions may include:

  • What type of work is being done?
  • Where is the work site located?
  •  How long will the work take?
  • 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 representatives must consult maps and research the area. Having this information in advance saves time.

A ticket number is then issued and should be retained until the work is completed, should any questions arise. The ticket number also services as proof that the call center was notified.

What should I do before I call?

In addition to obtaining the legal description, marking the excavation site in white is very helpful. White wooden 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 workers or locators may mark the entire lot.

What happens after the call?

Once the underground utilities are notified of the locate request, they determine whether they need to locate the underground utilities near the proposed dig site. It is important to remember that they may not mark any private utilities (such as power to the garage, gas grill, or LP lines). If they determine that they do not need to locate utilities, they will inform GSOC. 

Check GSOC’s Positive Response site at to determine if each utility has visited your dig site, responded to your locate request, or cleared the work area. 

Utility or locating services companies use paint or flags to mark the area, depending on soil and weather conditions. Color codes are:

  • Red – Electric
  • Yellow – Gas/Oil
  •  Orange – Communication/CATV
  •  Blue – Water
  •  Green – Sewer
  •  Fluorescent pink – Temporary survey markings
  •  White – Proposed excavation

What should I do after the area is marked?

Anyone who conducts excavation work in the state of Minnesota is considered an excavator. This designation comes with certain responsibilities, including:

  • After underground utilities have been marked and the 48-hour time frame has elapsed, excavation work may begin.
  • Once digging has begun, a minimum horizontal (side to side) 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 damage to an underground utility occurs or is suspected, it is the excavator’s responsibility to immediately notify the underground utility directly.

For a complete list of responsibilities, contact GSOC.

Additional information can be found on the Gopher State One Call FAQ.


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