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Massachusetts state law requires anyone who digs to notify utility companies before starting to excavate. Digging can be dangerous and costly without knowing where underground facilities are located.
In Massachusetts, notice of excavation for a utility mark-out requires a minimum notification of 72 business hours (3 business days) exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays or holidays, but no more than thirty (30) days prior to the commencement of an excavation. Although state law does not specify whether the property owner or contractor should notify the utility for a mark-out, BWSC recommends the contractor make the call. The contractor is usually more familiar with the information required to obtain a proper mark-out.
State law also requires all excavators to pre-mark the area of excavation before notifying for a mark-out. Pre-marking is defined as marking out the scope of the proposed excavation area, using white stakes, paint or flags indicating exactly where the work will take place. This will aid BWSC in finding the area of upcoming excavation work, keep operating costs down, and prevent excessive marking in areas where they are not needed.
If any damage is done to BWSC facilities while digging, it is the responsibility of the excavator to notify BWSC immediately after damage occurs. State law prohibits the contractor from attempting to repair the damaged facility or backfilling before the damaged facility has been inspected by the affected utility company.
The depth of underground facilities is variable. Additionally, the current depth of a facility might not be the same as when it was originally installed due to soil erosion, grading and many other factors. BWSC requires that excavators use non-mechanical means when digging within 18" of any marked underground facilities.
For Emergency Mark-Out Requests call BWSC Operations 617-989-7900.
(All Requests Require a Minimum of 72-Hours Notice)