Before You Dig
Generally, it is a violation of Fort Mojave Tribal Ordinances, state and federal laws to begin any excavation without first calling the local One-Call locating service for the area in which the digging is planned. The need to call most often impacts professional builders and excavators, but homeowners can be affected as well. Most homeowners do not know what has been buried on their property either during lot development or before. It is always risky to break ground without requesting an underground facility location.
Remember, if you break anything in the course of your project, you are responsible for the cost of repairing any damage to pipes, cable, electrical, or telephone wiring that you may cause. Additionally, you may be liable for damages for lost service to other homes and businesses and may face criminal penalties, too. Most importantly, digging without knowing what is buried below may cause property loss, injury, or in extreme cases, even death.
Reach Out to a One-Call Agency
AMPS participates with two one-call agencies – Arizona Blue Stake and California/Nevada Dig Alert — available to you 24 hours a day. When you call, this free service will notify AMPS and every other facility operator with interest in the area of your project. These facility operators will send out representatives to mark where their facilities are located before you dig, at no charge to you.
The process is simple:
Before calling, mark the ground where you plan to dig using stakes or white paint. Hardware stores sell “upside-down paint” for this purpose. Be sure to mark every area where you may break ground so that a technician easily can understand the extent of your project.
One-Call Phone Numbers
Call the appropriate “one” call agency to request location service:
Be ready with the address of the property, a clear verbal description of the site, a planned start date, and a contact phone number where you can be reached. You must allow a few days for facility operators to respond, so it is advisable to make the call four to seven days before you plan to begin.
The operator will determine the location of the site from your description and issue you a ticket number. AZ Blue Stake will notify all facility operators of your project via phone, fax, or email. Each facility operator will then respond within two business days by either calling you with a “no conflict” declaration, meaning that they have no buried items in the area. Or the one-call agency will send a technician out to the site to mark the location of buried objects.
It is critical that the digging not begin until all facility operators have responded. We recommend you keep a list of “no conflict” callers, along with a list of companies who have marked the site. Once the facilities are marked, you are free to begin digging, but remember that within 12 inches of a buried item, you are required to hand-dig to expose the pipe or cable beneath completely. At this distance, you cannot use power equipment.
If these objects are to be exposed for any distance, you also must provide support structures sufficient to prevent damage. Call the owner for guidance and assistance. If you should happen to strike an unknown object, stop at once! Identify the item and call the appropriate company.
Also, call Blue Stake to report an unidentified buried object. They will send out an emergency locate notice to all interested companies and request them to help you immediately. You should not handle the lines or cable. Accidental damage can be fatal, especially in buried electrical and gas equipment. Please allow professionally trained operators to handle these items for you.
Location marks will use colored paint, which will indicate the type of service. These colors are (generally):
☑ Red Electric Power
☑ Yellow Gas & Oil Lines
☑ Orange Telephone & Cable TV
☑ Blue Water
☑ Green Sewer
☑ Purple Reclaimed Water (Effluent)