April is National Safe Digging Awareness Month and the week of April 24-30 is Locator Safety and Appreciation Week. The Line Locating and Quality Control and Damage Investigation crews ensure utilities and the community are protected.  The largest crew of 17 locators is based in Tucson.

Check out some interesting facts and meet some of our employees.

What does the department do?  Line locating employees respond to all 811 tickets to identify and mark all underground utilities.  Homeowners and contractors are required to contact Arizona 811 to create a ticket at least two full working days before digging.

The Quality Control and Damage Investigators respond to all damaged utilities to assess the cause.  Contractors can be held accountable for not following Arizona 811 Blue Stake law.

Why is their work so important? Their work keeps the community safe and protects underground utilities. Whether putting in a fence post, replacing a mailbox or adding a tree to your yard, you are required to call 811 at least two working days before digging to give all utility companies adequate time to mark all of the underground facilities.

How many tickets do technicians close in a day? Depending on the scope of the project, an individual employee can close anywhere from 20-60 tickets a day.

How many tickets did technicians close in 2021? TEP technicians completed more than 105,000 tickets.

Did you know?

  • As a homeowner, you must wait until you have received responses from all of the facilities listed on your ticket before you can start digging.
  • Locators will often need access to equipment on your property to mark facilities at a nearby property or neighbors house.
  • 811 tickets are only valid for 15 days.
  • Electric utilities are marked in red, while yellow is used for gas utilities.

Meet two of our TEP employees:

Roaul Durazo, a TEP line locator, said every day is different. He has worked on everything from public improvement projects to emergency calls to the occasional quality control request. His favorite calls are ones where he can take a moment to help educate customers. “I always enjoy speaking with customers. I like a lot of customer contact. It is nice to sit down and have them learn about Blue Stake (Arizona 811).”

Nathan Dalrymple, a TEP line locator, responds to enough calls to know not everyone is excited when he shows up. He said often times he arrives to calls where there is a problem, like a plumbing issue, that is waiting to be repaired. “I like showing up when a homeowner is wanting to do a home improvement or is landscaping or putting in a pool. They are excited to see you and it is good to let them they can dig.”

Questions?  Check out www.arizona811.com for more information.

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