Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to call JULIE, Inc.?
Yes. . Illinois state law requires that anyone planning an outdoor project that requires digging, regardless of the depth or the size of the project, must notify JULIE first.

Is JULIE, Inc. a utility company and/or government agency?
No. JULIE is a not-for-profit corporation. JULIE does not own or mark any underground lines. The organization’s mission is to prevent damages to underground utilities, the environment and property, reduce service interruptions and costly repairs, and save lives.

How much does it cost to use JULIE, Inc.?
The call to JULIE and the locating service provided by utility members are free to homeowners and excavators.

When is the Call Center open?
Call Center operators are available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Will JULIE, Inc. tell me the specific location or depth of the public utilities?
No. JULIE does not have information on the specific location or depth of underground lines.

If I am the subcontractor on a job, do I have to get a locate request ticket or will the general contractor's ticket protect me?
According to state law, the person doing the digging is required to call JULIE with the locate request information at least 48 hours/two working days in advance of the start of the excavation, not the homeowner or company for whom the work is being done. The general contractor's locate request only applies to its company. The general contractor should only request a locate if the general contractor itself is planning to dig at the site.

When should I pre-mark the work site?
If the excavation site cannot be clearly and adequately identified through the locate request, JULIE recommends that the excavator designate the route or area to be excavated using white paint, flags, stakes or a combination of these methods prior to contacting JULIE. Black may be used when snow is on the ground.

May I dig after the 48-hour advance notice?
State law requires that the excavator exercise due care at all times to protect underground utility lines. If, after waiting the required 48 hours, the excavator observes clear evidence that there is an unmarked utility line in the area of the proposed excavation, the excavator should not begin excavating until two (2) hours after an additional call is made to the Statewide One-Call Notice System (JULIE) for the area.

What are the excavator’s responsibilities while digging? 
The excavator has an obligation to honor all time/marking requirements and then to dig in a reasonable and prudent manner, taking all reasonable and required precautions to avoid damaging underground lines. The law requires extra precaution, such as hand digging and/or vacuum excavation within 18 inches on either side of a marked underground line.

I have hit an underground line - what do I do now?
First, if you have created a potentially dangerous situation (i.e., damaged gas line, etc.), evacuate the area and immediately call 911 and/or the proper emergency responders. State law requires the excavator call JULIE and the owner of the damaged utility.

How long do I have to wait after calling in an emergency locate request?
An emergency locate request call is processed immediately by the JULIE system. According to state law, excavators must wait at least two hours (or until the date and time requested on the notice, whichever is longer) before digging. If an earlier start time is needed, the excavator must demonstrate that site conditions warrant the earlier start time. If a member(s) does not respond within the required wait time, call the member company directly and/or JULIE again. JULIE will send another request to the member(s) not responding.

Are all underground line owners members of JULIE, Inc.?
While all underground line owners and operators (except for the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Toll Authority and railroads) are required by state law to be members of JULIE, Inc., there may be some line owners and operators who are not current members. Non-members can be reported to the Illinois Commerce Commission at 217-558-4010 (see Law & Enforcements).

Where can I find more information about the state law and the JULIE process?
To view the state law and learn about the enforcement process, click here. If you have additional questions, please contact a Damage Prevention Manager.