Sask 1st Call is a “Before You Dig” location screening and notification service for contractors and homeowners who are planning to dig or excavate. Contacting Sask 1st Call will proactively alert the Sask 1st Call Member companies of plans to disturb the ground. Sask 1st Call will issue line locate request notifications to member companies to ensure that underground facilities are clearly marked before work starts. First Call organizations enhance safety to the public and digging community as well as reduce damage and associated costs to underground facilities. Sask 1st Call will also process locate requests for heavy equipment crossings. Contractors are required to receive crossing agreement approvals from facility owners to cross over or near Right-of-Ways to reduce the risk of pipeline damage and protect the public and the environment but a locate is often required by the pipelines as part of the crossing agreement. Several of Sask 1st Call`s members have provided information on how to contact them directly to request facility information for planning purposes: Map requests Sask 1st Call has joined the Before You Dig Partners of Alberta One Call, BC One call and Click Before You Dig Manitoba, in using the aligned business rules and the Pelican OneCallAccess software. To improve efficiency, these one-call centers adopted a single software solution. A more detailed, web-based map services allows for better information from the excavator and for registering your infrastructure locations. Through a mandatory mapping of your dig site, you control the shape, size and location of the mapped dig area.

Locate requests for routine work should be made online at sask1stcall.com. The user drawn map will determine what member companies are present in the dig area. We will take all the pertinent information concerning the proposed excavation and map it on the screening database. Specialized screening software will then determine which of the member companies have underground facilities at that location. The member companies affected will then be automatically notified by the system that a line locate is required. Each member company is responsible to mark their underground lines. Alternatively to requesting tickets online, a call to Sask 1st Call’s toll free number will connect you to a trained and experienced Sask 1st Call Representative.

Sask 1st Call benefits Saskatchewan people by reducing the number of company contacts required when planning to dig or excavate. Sask 1st Call will screen and/or notify many member companies with just one point of contact. The Saskatchewan digging community appreciates the convenience of a single point of contact to reach several companies, and public safety is greatly enhanced due to multiple facility owners being notified.

There is no charge to the customer. Our member companies will locate their facilities for free.

Sask 1st Call operates Monday to Friday 8 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Sask 1st Call is closed weekends and holidays. Emergency service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Requests for routine locates can be made 24 hours a day online and will be processed automatically.

Sask 1st Call Members require a minimum of three full business days for regular routine tickets, not including day of request, to locate their facilities. However, if you are planning to excavate, always call Sask 1st Call even on short notice, so we can notify our members that your locate request is urgent. If your request is an emergency or priority, please call Sask 1st Call immediately at 1-866-828-4888.

Sask 1st Call is the first contact you should make. However, there may be other companies who have underground facilities in your work area that are not members of Sask 1st Call. Not all utilities are registered with Sask 1st Call, but through land titles, municipalities, cities and towns, excavators can find those unregistered with Sask 1st Call. You remain responsible to notify those companies of your proposed excavation, and to locate or hire someone to locate landowner (privately owned) facilities – see FAQ #12 You should also understand that you are not clear to excavate until all Sask 1st Call members we notify have located their facilities in your work area or advised you to proceed. It is the excavator’s responsibility not to damage the facilities and placing a request to Sask 1st Call does not remove that responsibility..

Yes, those who require maps (sketches) for planning purposes can request a Planning & Design ticket from Sask 1st Call. It is the planner’s responsibility to identify facility owners in the area. Planning & Design tickets are requests for information and have a minimum lead time of 10 business days. If location information is required for planning purposes, the ticket will be transmitted to members with underground infrastructure.

A valid locate request will be required prior to ground disturbance from the requestor.

For a rural locate, please be ready to provide the closest community to the dig site and the legal land location(s) (i.e. NE 09-39-08-W3M).

When locates are completed, owners of buried facilities, including pipelines, will not provide the depth of the facility. There is an obligation on the excavator to expose these facilities before using mechanical excavation equipment, pursuant to section 259 of the Occupational Health &Safety (OH&S) regulations that speaks to this topic. If you have any further questions about working around underground facility markings, contact the facility owner.

Markings are valid for 30 calendar days, from the date they were placed to identify the buried facility, unless otherwise stipulated by the facility owner. It is the responsibility of the locate requestor to preserve the markings and have facilities relocated if the marks are not clearly visible. If your work has not started within 30 calendar days or it appears markings have been disturbed or become unclear, please go online to reissue a locate request or place a call to Sask 1st Call. If work is ongoing beyond the 30 calendar day marking validity, best practice is to go online and request a relocate 30 calendar days after the initial request was made to Sask 1st Call, to ensure the markings do not go stale.

Prior to excavating, excavators must be aware that privately (e.g. landowner) owned buried facilities may exist within work area and they are generally responsible by law to locate those facilities, or hire someone to locate them. Please visit Canadian Association of Pipeline and Utility Locating Contractors for a list of private locators in your area, or see the Private Contract Locators information on this website. Remember that these locators will locate the private facilities for a fee. Private facilities can be found anywhere and may include: facilities that were installed after or downstream of a Utility Company’s meter (ie SaskPower, SaskEnergy), natural gas farm taps, natural gas, propane piping or electrical lines to buildings, and lines associated with gas BBQ’s and pool heaters, private water systems, data and communication lines, underground sprinkler systems, and invisible fences and many others.
Locate marks, be they paint, stakes or flags, should be in sufficient quantity and close enough together to clearly identify the horizontal alignment of the buried facilities. Where facilities are marked with a single line of paint, flags or stakes, the marks indicate the approximate centre line of the facility. Where facilities are marked with parallel lines connected with an arrow or chevron, the marks indicate either the approximate trench width of the original installation or the approximate outside limits of the facility. While locating equipment is becoming increasingly more sophisticated and accurate, parallel facilities, overhead facilities and nearby reinforced concrete structures all affect their accuracy. Locating is part art and part science and locate marks are approximate only. Locators will not give depth but should warn the ground distributer if they suspect a particular facility is deeper or shallower than might normally be expected. The marking of the locations of buried facilities in Saskatchewan follows the Uniform Color Code introduced by the American Public Works Association and partially recognized in Canadian Standards Association C22.3 No. 7-94, Underground Systems.
White Limits of proposed excavation
Pink Temporary survey marks
Red Electric power lines, cables, conduits and ducts or lighting wires and cables
Yellow Gas, oil, petroleum, steam or gaseous materials
Orange Telephone, cable TV, communications, alarm or signal lines, wires, cables, conduits or ducts
Blue Potable water lines or pipes
Green Sanitary sewer, storm sewer, culvert or drain lines
Purple Irrigation, reclaimed water or slurry lines or pipes

Excavators request locates for a variety of reasons. Cities dig to repair water and sewer lines or rebuild roads/sidewalks, utilities dig to repair or upgrade their lines, etc. The Municipality you live in, technically, “owns” the front of your property up to your property line. If the Municipality/City must excavate on the publicly owned portion of your property, they may do so without consulting you first. While there is no arguing that you own your private property, the utilities buried underneath that property are owned by the respective utility owner. While it is policy and certainly courtesy in major companies to notify you of any planned excavation, it is not legally required and these utility owners may need to act quickly to deal with concerns in some instances. To investigate further, we recommend contacting the utility in question.

Whoever submitted the locate request is responsible for removing the flags once the work is completed. The locators will not return to the job site to do this. Paint markings are biodegradable and will dissipate in time. If you find fresh flags or paint marks on your property and you did not request locates, leave the markings in place as they are for a proposed excavation in your area. Locate markings are valid for for 30 calendar days, unless otherwise stipulated by the facility owner..

In order to safely screen for underground facilities, Sask 1st Call has the task of establishing & maintaining boundaries for every community within its system. Hamlets or Rural subdivisions managed by Rural Municipalities (RM) are the hardest communities for Sask 1st Call to implement. Many of these are not within Sask 1st Call’s system because there are no local, provincial or federal agencies that maintain legal boundaries for these communities.

However, just because a community is not available in Sask 1st Call, doesn’t mean you are unable to use the service. If the community is unavailable, the Sask 1st Call Representative will accept the legal land descriptions (ex: NE 12-22-15 W3M) and the nearest community to the dig site.

Yes, as long as you can find your dig site on the map, you can request locates. The map can be searched by street address, street intersections, legal land description, and with Longitude & Latitude coordinates. Once the dig site is found on the map, simply draw the area and add in details of your dig site in the Remarks section. Latitude & Longitude coordinates are typically obtained through GPS receivers. Another potential place for obtaining Latitude & Longitude coordinates is on Google maps. (Latitude/Longitude Tool Tip).

When streets are not available in Sask 1st Call’s system, use the map to find your work area. Member companies are notified based on the drawn polygon. Once you found you work area on the map, enter the address in the additional Remarks.

You can obtain detailed information regarding Sask 1st Call by calling 1-866-828-4888, option 3 or email [email protected]

Sixteen companies within the Saskatchewan pipeline community joined together to develop Sask 1st Call. There are now over 120 member companies that are part of Sask 1st Call and continued growth is an important element of the First Call philosophy. The opportunity exists to extend this service to any agency with underground facilities. Look under Participating Companies on our website for a complete list of Sask 1st Call members.

Visit https://scga.ca for more information on the Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance and their work.