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What is Dial Before You Dig?

Dial before you dig aims to prevent any danger that can happen from incorrect digging of the ground. It’s a national community service that clients don’t have to pay for. Australia has a complicated network of cables and pipes that goes underneath the ground. There were many incidents when construction companies, landscaping companies, or those involved in heavy work, such as directional drilling or boring cut through these lines. This stopped the water system to hundreds of nearby houses. It created a chaotic situation altogether.

This free service aims to prevent all of that. You wouldn’t want your company to be a part of a significant national problem after one night. Yet that can happen if you are not careful while digging. Australia’s growing number of underground assets is increasing every day. Whether it is new electric lines or water pipes, the government prefers to free the space above the ground so that people can enjoy their life. However, the real estate sector is also experiencing a rise in recent times.

With real estate contributing to Australia’s economy to a great extent, the government has come up with a strategy to prevent any harm to the underground assets. Hence, dial before you dig came up as a preventive measure.

Electricity and plumbing are two of the essential lines that use underground networks. Construction companies or any other company involved in digging, drilling or boring through the ground often run into the risk of damaging these networks. The size of the project doesn’t matter here. It is the overall disturbance that you create by damaging one of these networks that lead to a bigger issue. That is why most companies consider the risks involved with these assets before starting any project.

About the Service

Being the free national referral service, Dial before you dig, is designed to help prevent any type of damage or disruption to Australia’s massive underground network of gas pipelines, petroleum pipelines, electric cables, connectivity cables, etc.

As a consumer and as a business, it’s essential for you to understand that these infrastructures are the backbone of Australia’s booming economy and any damage or disruption to them will directly impact the daily life of every citizen.

Dial before you dig, empowers you with a full-fledged platform and a point of contact where you can get in touch with the professionals who will help you get the valuable information on the underground network that goes below your property thus helping you to properly plan your excavation in preventing any unknown damage.

When It Was Founded

Dial Before You Dig was founded in June 1999 as an established Inc. Association. It was initially founded by a handful of major asset owners, particularly in the electricity, telecommunications and gas industries.

Few members were also from local and state governments. But over time, other companies and the state government began to understand the need to protect underground assets, they joined this association. Today DBYD has more than 100 members across South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Number of People Served

According to an official report published by DBYD, close to 8 million requests were made in the year 2016-17 and the number continues to grow as more people and businesses are understanding the legalities and financial penalties involved if they fail to inquire about the underground infrastructure before digging.

Why Dial Before You Dig?

How would you feel to be a victim of someone’s carelessness? For example, you see a team of worker drilling the sidewalk near your house. All of a sudden, the electricity in your home goes off. You think that it is a temporary failure, but hours pass by without any electricity. Your children feel restless, you can’t work in the dark, and there is utter chaos. You later come to know that the workers drilled through the local electric line and it would take a couple of days to fix the problem.

Wouldn’t you feel angry at the workers? Shouldn’t they do a background check of all the lines that pass underground in the area they are working? That’s precisely why dial before you dig is essential. If you are running a construction company, you should understand your responsibility towards other residents of society. You have no right to disrupt their daily lives when a quick check will save everyone the hassle.

The experts from iFind Pipes ‘N’ Cables will give you a complete report of all the underground assets that you need to avoid while working in a specific area. Again, the size of the project doesn’t matter. Even if you are working in your backyard, you need to identify if there are any lines or networks running underneath. We deploy our VAC trucks and excavate underground utilities safe, without hassle every time!

How Does Dial Before You Dig Work?

Anyone who wants to dig the ground, be it for personal or public reasons, should get in touch with dial before you dig before starting the project. The application process is easy enough.

You need to contact dial before you dig approximately a month before starting your project. They will ask you to fill out an application form. This form will contain all the details about the location and specific area where you want to dig or drill. You can fill out this application online also by visiting Alternatively, you can call at 1100 and specify your details. Some of the essential information you need to provide in the application are as follows:

  • Personal details like the name of your company, address, identity proof, and the approximate date and time when you want to finish your project.
  • Specify the location details. This should include the exact area you will dig, the square feet measurements, and the approximate depth of your digging project.
  • Once you submit your application, dial before you dig will go through the area blueprint to find any possible networks that you can harm while drilling or digging. They will provide you a detailed report of the underground assets. You should study their plans thoroughly before starting your project.

What Number Do You Dial Before You Dig?

Safety should be your main concern, regardless of the size of an excavation project, and that’s why you should dial before you dig to get a good understanding of everything under your feet.

Simply call 1100 for a detailed and complete map of the area where you are planning excavation work.

How Much Does Dial Before You Dig Cost?

You’re wrong if you think dial before you dig will cost a fortune. This is a free national community service. It’s free. You don’t pay a cent for it. The Australian government understands that landscaping and construction companies don’t dig through essential network lines purposely. But, even if they don’t, the hassle that the local people have to suffer is horrifying. That is why they started this service.

It is a way to prevent any accidents that can lead to a breakdown in the water supply or electric supply. In fact, it can also result in communication failure because many connections of home phones and internet run underneath the ground.

Who Owns Dial Before You Dig?

Dial before you dig is not owned by an individual or an entity. Instead, it’s a non-for-profit group of state entities that consists of various distinct organizations from all over Australia. These organizations are mainly asset owners and non-asset owners and their primary task is to maintain the proper functioning of this organization.

Is Dial Before You Dig Mandatory?

Each state and county have its own rules or regulations governing various aspects of infrastructure, including excavation projects. Although there are states such as New South Wales where it is mandatory to call dial before you dig, there are still many where this is not the case.

If you are a contractor or property owner planning an excavation, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Instead of facing all kinds of legal action, fines, and damages, it is always better to call 1100 to get a detailed map of the area concerned and plan your excavation accordingly.

How Deep Can You Dig Before You Need to Call?

There are some digging jobs for which you don’t need to call DBYD. For example, if it is an emergency and you dig to prevent injury or death, you will be exempt from penalties even in states where DBYD is imposed by law.

The second case is when you dig to a depth of 30 cm without using any type of power tool or when you dig less than 15 cm using any type of machinery or power tool, you do not have to call the dial before you dig.

Always remember to dial before you dig!