Dig Safe is a non-profit organization. Dig Safe is a free service, funded solely by its utility members to promote public safety and avoid costly underground utility damage. In MA, ME, RI, VT, and NH it’s the law that before a person or contractor digs they must premark the area and notify Dig Safe at least 48 hours excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, but not more than 30 days before commencing excavation activities.
Vermont’s Public Utility Locator
Dig Safe itself is primarily a call center and their employees do not mark the utilities themselves. When you call Dig Safe or complete an online ticket, their operators record all of the information you give them about your dig site. Dig Safe then dispatches all of the subscribing member utilities that might be near your dig area to locate their respective utility and in some cases they hire other companies to mark the ground. Not all utilities are required to participate in the Dig Safe Program.
Dig Safe vs. VT Underground Locators
At Vermont Underground Locators, people often call us and ask what the difference is between us and Dig Safe, which is essentially the same as asking “What’s the difference between public underground utility locating and private utility locating?”.
While Dig Safe is the organization tasked with dispatching for public utilities location in Vermont, VTUL locates private utilities. Generally speaking, Dig Safe is responsible for overseeing the location and marking of power, gas, and electric utilities – but essentially this is limited to anything from the pole to meter. So, for example, a homeowner’s meter is down the road rather than attached to the house, Dig Safe won’t mark it. This is when you need a private utility locator like VTUL to find anything underground; public, private, from pole to meter, and beyond. However, before you dig you must call Dig Safe.