When you are excavating a site, there is always a chance for grading hazards.  Grading hazards can range from buried utility lines to electric dog fences.  Before you begin your landscape project, make sure that you have identified as many grading hazards as possible.  Taking a few minutes to inspect the site prior to any excavation may save you time and money.  If you live in Iowa, by law you are required to notify Iowa One Call before you dig.  You can go online to their website and put in a request for a locate.  There is no charge for the locate to be done.  The locate will be completed with in 48 hours of your request.  When you request a locate, only underground utilities will be marked by the provider.  Any private utilities are the responsibility of the contractor or home owner.  Below are a few things that are not covered by Iowa One call and should be considered prior to your excavation.

Grading Hazards

Grading hazards that you may run into.

Irrigation lines-  If you have an irrigation system, you should have installer of the system mark the water lines in your lawn.  Sometimes irrigation contractors will give the property owner a copy of the irrigation design.  This design should show where the lines run from head to head.

Under ground dog fences-  Underground dog fences are usually buried right below the surface.  If you have one of these fences installed in your yard, you should contact the company that installed the system and have them mark it.  Most under ground dog fences are installed around the perimeter of your property.  You can manually locate the fence using the transmitter.

Drain tile-  If you have installed any drain tile in your lawn, you should locate it before you begin your project.  If you puncture drain tile or sump pump lines, you may not even know until later on down the road.

Property markers-  Property markers should be located if you are working near your property line.  The last thing that you want to do is install your project on your neighbors property and have to tear it out later.