Wait Times Explained - Virginia811

Wait Times Explained

After submitting your locate request to Virginia 811 to have your utilities located, we notify the utilities. A utility or contract locator will then visit your proposed dig site and identify the underground utilities that they operate.

To be safe, you need to wait until the locators have had a chance to visit your property before you dig.

By law, the time for marking is 48 hours beginning at 7:00 am on the next working day after you submitted your request.  This is essentially 3 business days.

  • “Working day” means every day except Saturdays, Sundays, and legal state and national holidays.
  • So, weekends and holidays do not count as “working days”.

You will receive an email from Virginia 811 when all of the locators have determined whether they needed to mark or not.  This email, called the Positive Response email, will give you an indication as to which utilities marked and which determined that their lines are not in conflict with your proposed work.

What Utilities Get Marked?

When you contact Virginia 811 about your plans to dig, we notify the utility operators who may have underground utilities in your area.  There are over 500 utilities who are “members” of Virginia 811, who have let us know about the areas where they may have underground utility lines.  They are often called “public utilities”.

House with utility lines marked

Positive Response Codes

Confirming and verifying member positive responses is essential to preventing damage to underground facilities. By comparing the conditions at your excavation site with the positive response codes on your locate request ticket to determine if it’s safe to proceed with digging or if further follow-up with the member operator is necessary.

Positive Response Codes
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