logo: Ag Engineering Edge: Answers to questions about structures, ventilation, soil, water, waste, energy, machinery and safety





Call 1-800-DIG-RITE first

Spring is a time when farmers, contractors, landscapers and homeowners do all kinds of "excavating" with shovels, posthole diggers and backhoes. Building fences, cleaning ditches, and installing drain pipes and electric wires are all routine projects that can cause inconvenience, injury or even death if a buried cable or pipeline is damaged.

The Missouri One Call System (MOCS) has asked our help in reminding you to "call before you dig." Missouri law requires anyone who plans to excavate (other than normal shallow tillage) to notify owners or operators of underground utilities at least two working days in advance of the work, so that these facilities can be located and marked.

When you call MOCS at 1-800-DIG-RITE (1-800-344-7483), be prepared to give the operator information about where you plan to dig, including the Township, Range, Section and Quarter Section, the date and time of day you plan to begin work, the nature of your work, and the name and phone number of a contact person. The MOCS operator will then give you a list of the utilities it will contact for you. You can check with the County Recorder of Deeds for any other utilities that you must notify that don't belong to MOCS.

The underground utilities will be marked according to the following color code:




Yellow = Gas, Oil, Steam


Potable Water
Purple = Irrigation, Reclaimed water, Slurry lines




Communication & CATV


Temporary survey markings


Proposed excavation


With the increasing reliance on electronic communications, a damaged fiberoptic cable could not only leave you without phone service, but could also jeopardize distant emergency medical response and air traffic communication, putting many lives at risk. Those who damage such cables can also be held liable for cost of repairs and lost services to other businesses.