JULIE Utility Marking

At Auto Rain, safety is a key component of installations and our promise to perform quality work.

Don’t be fooled by contractors that try to “cut corners” or claim to “save time” by not following safety guidelines! – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!

A step of our installation process is to call the utility marking company known commonly as JULIE prior to digging anywhere on your property.

Whether it is a new sprinkler installation, existing system repairs, drainage solutions, or outdoor lighting, we will always call JULIE before working on your property to mark underground utilities FIRST.

You will find some resources below that answer some commonly asked questions about utility marking.

If you still have further questions before the start of your project, any Auto Rain representative would be happy to address those for you!

Do I (the client) have to call JULIE? Or will Auto Rain call JULIE for me?

Auto Rain will take care of calling JULIE for you as part of your installation or repair process! We will provide them the necessary information, and they will provide us with a date the request can be completed by. You may be asked to “keep an eye out” for once your property has been marked, but you do not need to be home for the utility companies to mark the property. Once we confirm the markings have been done, and permit has been issued, we are ready to start your project!

Do you have to notify JULIE for every project?

Yes—every project, every time. 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 at least two business days before putting a shovel in the ground. Even for “small” projects like planting trees and shrubs, and even if you have notified JULIE for a previous project in the same area, you must notify JULIE again. It’s a free service. If you live anywhere in the state of Illinois, you’re required by law to have underground utility lines marked before you dig.

julie calendar sample

What about Private Lines?

Operators of underground lines only locate the buried lines that they own, operate and/or maintain. They DO NOT locate private underground lines which are lines installed after the operator or their contractor have installed the basic service.  These lines are considered customer-owned or private lines, and it is the owner’s responsibility to cover the cost to protect private underground utilities. Examples of private lines include, but may not be limited to: sewer lines, private lighting, sprinklers, fire mains, secondary electric lines to detached garages, pools, and septic lines.

How Do You Dig Carefully Within The Tolerance Zone?

Locating an underground utility line is not an exact science. The marks indicate the approximate location of a buried line. If possible, dig outside the tolerance zone, a pre-defined horizontal distance extending from the outer edge of a line or pipe that runs underground. The exact distance is 18″ on either side of the line or pipe (utility) plus the diameter of the line or pipe itself.

If we must excavate within the tolerance zone, we will dig next to the marks, not on top of them. Hand digging is done with extreme caution.

julie underground detail drawing

You’ll Know What’s Below By The Different Flags, Stakes Or Paint

How Do I Know My Lines Have Been Marked?

A representative from each member utility company will either mark the location of their facilities with paint and/or flags or let you know that their lines are not in conflict with the area in which you are planning to dig.

Member utility companies should have their underground lines marked sometime between the receipt of your confirmation and the dig start date and time included on your locate request ticket or JULIE Dig Number. It is important that your property is accessible or delays may occur.

Member utility locators should always have clearly visible identification and very rarely need to enter your home to complete a locate request.

julie paint color codes

What Do The Colors Represent?

All JULIE member utility companies follow the same color codes below to mark their underground utilities. As an important reminder, JULIE personnel are not utility locators and do not visit dig sites nor locate any underground lines.

julie flag color codes

What Do the White Flags/Paint Represent?

Prior to contacting JULIE, we can pre-mark your project area using white paint or flags. Doing so provides the facility owner locators more specific knowledge about where on your property we plan to do the work and lets them focus on just those areas. To avoid confusion, we use ONLY WHITE FLAGS (black if snow is on the ground) for pre-marking.

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