Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 309. Rules for Enforcement of the Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act
1/19/2020

20VAC5-309-110. General Marking Requirements.

A. All markings shall be suitable for their intended purpose for a period of 15 working days beginning at 7 a.m. on the next working day following notice by the excavator to the notification center.

B. Markings shall be made at sufficient intervals to clearly indicate the approximate horizontal location and direction of the underground utility line. However, the distance between any two marks indicating the same utility line shall not exceed 20 feet. Site conditions or directional changes of the underground utility line shall be considered to determine the need for shorter distance between marks.

C. Markings of underground utility lines shall be by means of stakes, paint, flags, or combination thereof. The terrain, site conditions, and the type and extent of the proposed excavation shall be considered to determine the most suitable means to mark underground utility lines.

D. Paint marks shall be approximately 8 to 10 inches in length and one to two inches in width except when "spot" marking is necessary.

E. A minimum of three separate marks shall be made for each underground utility line marking.

F. Valve box covers that are at grade and visible shall be marked with the appropriate color in accordance with the Act.

G. If in the process of marking an underground utility line, a customer-owned underground utility line of the same type is discovered, the operator or its contract locator shall make a reasonable effort to contact the excavator or the customer to advise of the presence of the line.

H. Where the proposed excavation crosses an underground utility line, markings shall be at intervals that clearly define the route of the underground line.

I. All markings shall extend if practical, a reasonable distance beyond the boundaries of the specific location of the proposed work as detailed on the ticket.

J. If the use of line marking is considered damaging to property (driveways, landscaping, historic locations to the extent boundaries are known), "spot" marking or other suitable marking methods shall be used.

K. Markings shall be valid for an excavation site for 15 working days beginning at 7 a.m. on the next working day following notice to the notification center by the excavator or until one of the following events occurs:

1. The markings become faded, illegible or destroyed; or

2. If the markings were placed in response to an emergency and the emergency condition has ceased to exist.

L. Where permitted by the operator's records, all utility lines of the same type in the same trench owned by the same operator shall be marked individually or by a single mark. If a single mark is used, the number of the utility lines shall be indicated at every other mark.

M. Operators or their contract locators shall use all information necessary to mark their facilities accurately.

N. Markings of an underground pipeline greater than 12 inches in nominal outside dimension shall include the size in inches at every other mark.

O. Duct structures and conduit systems shall be marked with line markings indicating the approximate outer dimensions of the duct structure or conduit system and a solid closed circle over the approximate center of the duct structure or conduit system.

P. In areas where marks would be destroyed, such as high traffic areas, gravel areas, dirt areas, or where surface conditions are such that the placement of marks directly over the utility line is not possible, offset markings shall be used. The offset marks shall be placed on a permanent surface, which is not likely to be destroyed. Offset marks shall include a line marking placed parallel to the underground utility line and an arrow, pointing in the direction of the utility line, with the distance in feet and inches to the location of the utility line shown on the right side of the arrow and size, material type, and the operator's letter designation information on the left side of the arrow. When possible, offset marks shall be used in conjunction with locate marks placed in accordance with the Act.

Q. The assigned letter designations for each operator to be used in conjunction with markings of underground utility lines shall be the same as those assigned by the notification center certified for a geographic area, subject to the review of the same and approval of such designations in writing by the advisory committee. Such approved designations by the advisory committee shall be deemed final unless appealed to the commission within 30 days of the advisory committee's written evidence of approval. Operators wishing to appeal the letter designations assigned in accordance with this section may file an appropriate formal pleading with the commission seeking review of the assigned letter designation within 30 days of the issuance of the written approval of the advisory committee.

R. The symbols for marking of underground utility lines in compliance with § 56-265.19 F (ii) of the Act shall be the same as those placed in response to a notice of proposed excavation or demolition.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-265.30 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 17, Issue 09, eff. July 1, 2001; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 2001; Volume 20, Issue 15, eff. March 15, 2004; Volume 29, Issue 04, eff. October 1, 2012.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.