Call Before You Dig

JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) has been protecting Illinois communities for more than 45 years by providing a free notification service for homeowners and professional excavators to use to request the location of underground utilities before they dig. With nearly 2,000 members in Illinois, the not-for-profit organization covers the entire state outside the City of Chicago. As a reminder JULIE does not mark or own underground utilities. JULIE is a free service.

When Should I Contact JULIE?

State law requires you to notify JULIE at least 2 but not more than 14 business days before any digging project regardless of the project size or depth. Even if you are digging in the same area as a previous project, notify JULIE first.

Weekends and holidays are not included in determining the 2 working days advance notice required by law. You may submit a locate request on these days and it will be processed; however, member companies will handle emergencies only. If a holiday falls on a Saturday, the Friday before is observed; if the holiday is on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday. The 7 holidays recognized by JULIE members are: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Day After Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

JULIE personnel do not perform locating or marking services—we alert our member utility companies so they can mark your property for safe digging. Within 2 business days of receiving confirmation of your locate request, expect professional locators to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with small color-code flags or paint at no cost to you.

Member utility companies are only required to mark the underground utility lines they own, not privately installed or owned lines. Visit the JULIE Before You Dig website for information on what’s not covered.

Common projects that require notifying JULIE before you dig:

  • Trees and shrubs
  • Fencing
  • Decks and Patios
  • Room additions
  • Swing Sets
  • Mailbox Posts
  • Signs and sheds
  • Gardens
  • Fountains
  • Swimming Pools
  • Tents
  • Landscaping

When Not To Call

JULIE’s agents cannot assist customers with any weather-related utility damage or other utility concerns. The appropriate utility should be contacted directly to:

  • Report service outages or interruptions due to weather conditions
  • Resolve billing or claim issues
  • Request any type of utility line removal or relocation, including meter removals
  • Start utility service

Contact JULIE Before You Dig

Planting, building, adding or fixing anything outdoors? Know what’s below. Get your underground utility lines marked before you start digging. It’s a free service that could save you time, costly utility repairs, and even your life. Online or over the phone, JULIE’s request system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

1. Identify Your Dig Area

map iconOnce you’ve determined where you want to dig, premark the area using white paint, stakes or flags. This allows the utility locators to understand the size and scope of your project.

2. Submit A Request

24/7 iconIt’s easy…and it’s free. Simply submit an E-Request to avoid possible hold times or call 811. But first, have the following information handy to speed up the process.

  • Contact name, email and phone number
  • Property address including county, city or township
  • Type and location of digging project
  • Special instructions about the property or project
  • Earliest date and time the project will start

The law requires you contact JULIE at least 2 business days before you plan to start digging! But don’t submit a request for work that’s more than 14 days in the future. Calls or E-Requests received after 4 p.m. will be processed as if received at 8 a.m. the next business day. Remember, weekends and holidays are not considered business days when scheduling.

3. Wait For The Paint Or Flags

flags iconAfter you receive email confirmation from JULIE, utility members locate and mark underground utility lines on your property with colored paint and flags. They may mark an All Clear with a painted OK or contact you if nothing is in conflict with your site. Make sure you are notified by all utilities listed on your ticket before digging and never dig until the date and time indicated on your confirmation.

Please note: JULIE personnel are not locators and will not visit your property. Member utility companies mark their own lines.

4. Respect The Markings

flag on a palm iconKnowing where underground utilities are located helps keep you safe! So don’t move or destroy any flags, paint or other markings until you have finished your digging project.

5. Dig With Care

shovel iconUse hand tools when digging within 18 inches of a marked underground line and always pay close attention to your surroundings. Contact the utility owner, as well as JULIE, if you think you have struck or damaged a line. Never try to repair it yourself.