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Call the one-call utility locator service.Call 811
If you are planning to use directional drilling, contact your local one-call utility locator service well ahead of the job. Let them know about the equipment you will be using, and ask them to space locator marks closer together. This will help you see if the utility’s path shifts or turns suddenly.

Dig potholes so you can safely monitor the drill head.
A buried drill head makes it impossible to tell how close you really are to an existing utility. This makes it especially important to manually expose the line and watch as the drill string passes through. Contact the local utility to learn the required minimum distance your bore head must be kept from underground gas pipelines and power lines. Watch the drill head cross during the initial bore and also during backreaming to ensure this minimum distance is maintained.

Calibrate the bore head and locating device at the start of each job.
Remember, the locating device can monitor the bore head on the initial pass, but may not be able to monitor the backream head.


Pothole utilities so you can monitor the bore head path and visually verify a safe distance.