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When the excavation area cannot be clearly and adequately identified within the area described in the notice, the excavator shall designate the route, specific area to be excavated, or both by premarking the area before the operator performs a locate. Premarking shall be made with soluble white paint, white flags, or white stakes. 87-122 (c)(1)
Sometimes it is difficult for excavators to relay the exact location of their dig sites to the one call center. Even clear and accurate information relayed in writing or verbally to one person may not be clear to another. With white lining, locators have excavation information on paper, and also have a clearly marked excavation area. White lining helps to avoid misinterpretation and allows for more accurate locates.
White lining around a proposed excavation area informs locators where to spend their time looking for underground utilities. Since the locator has a clear indication of the excavation area, less time is spent on areas where excavation will not occur. This gives the locator the time to accurately locate underground facilities that need protection during excavation.