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Excavation - Register or Beware the Penalties

Are you planning on breaking any ground during your next project?  Be aware that any digging or excavation work requires licensed contractors to call and register with the Underground Service Alert of Northern California or the Underground Service Alert of Southern California. 

Contractors who fail to register with the appropriate agency may be subject to a fine of up to $50,000 and they can be held responsible for any repair costs.  The California State Contractors License Board may also issue additional penalties ranging from a warning letter to the revocation of a contractor's license which can occur in the most serious cases. 

When registering your excavation work with the Underground Service Alert of Northern California or the Underground Service Alert of Southern California make sure to:

  • Call at least two working days, but not more than 14 days, before a project. Notification of the excavation is required whether the project is taking place on public, private or commercial property.
  • Have your own ticket and ticket number that references the dig information. Tickets are valid for up to 28 days after they're issued.
  • Accurately outline your excavation area once you call the appropriate agency. Utility representatives will visit within two working days to mark or stake the horizontal path of their underground facilities, provide information about the location, or advise if there are any lines in conflict with your project.
  • Notify the appropriate utility if you accidentally strike a line. Even if there is no visible damage; internal harm may have occurred that can lead to future damage or injury.

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