Digger is a 24-hour service network system established to prevent contractors and private citizens from hitting any existing utility line(s) when digging. This agency provides a free, one-call service to private contractors and homeowners within the City of Chicago's corporate limits. This system notifies all utilities of impending excavations. All non-emergency penetration/excavation requires a 48-hour minimum prior notice (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) to Digger at 312.744.7000
This important service helps to ensure public safety and protects utility facilities both in the public way and on private property. Those interested in digging in Chicago must first call Digger two working days (48 hours) before digging. The 48-hour waiting period mandated by The Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act (220 ILCS 50/1 et seq) Section 10, allows the utility companies time to mark the ground where their facilities exist below the surface.
Within 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) of receipt of notice, DIGGER utility members shall mark the locations of their underground facilities as to apprise the person excavating or involved in demolition, the location of the underground facility. The location of underground utility facilities is defined as a strip of land at least three (3) feet wide but not wider than the width of the underground facility plus eighteen (18) inches on either side of the facility.
An underground utility facility will be marked through the use of different colors of paint following the American Public Works Association Color Code:
ELECTRIC - 911 EMERGENCY - SAFETY RED
GAS-OIL-STEAM-PETROLEUM - HIGH VISIBILITY SAFETY YELLOW
COMMUNICATION/CATV - TELEPHONE - T.V. - ALERT ORANGE
POTABLE WATER - SAFETY PRECAUTION BLUE
SEWER - SAFETY PRECAUTION GREEN
PROPOSED EXCAVATION - SAFETY WHITE
Emergency Locate Request
An emergency locate request is defined as: "A situation where an underground facility requires immediate repair and/or endangers public safety and/or property."
Emergency locate requests include, but are not limited to:
When calling Digger for an Emergency Locate request, inform the operator that an emergency situation exists and be prepared to explain the situation/conditions. An immediate notification will be transmitted to all Digger members.
Every person who engages in emergency excavation or demolition shall take all reasonable precautions to avoid or minimize interference between the emergency work and existing underground utility facilities in and near the excavation or demolition area.