PRIVATE LOCATING: Locating the Underground Lines You Own

At One Call Concepts Locating Services, Inc. (OCCLS), we have decades of experience performing utility locating for public utility companies and private entities. It is important to understand that the utility lines are only owned by the public utility companies up until a certain point. After that, those lines are owned by you or the property owner and are your responsibility. To make sure that your construction can proceed with the correct precautions taken, you need to know the exact location of the existing lines on your property. Public utility companies are notified by the One Call Center, so that they can protect their facilities from damage and service interruptions; but they will only mark the public utility lines, not the ones that are privately owned.

We have decades of experience performing utility locating for public utility companies and private entities.

Whether you are a homeowner or a contractor working on a residential or industrial site, in situations where private lines exist, you can call on OCCLS to mark the private utilities in your project area.

We provide electromagnetic (EM) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) locating services in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Maryland. We have the ability to travel to other locations if needed.

Public utility responsibility (or ownership) typically stops at the metering point.

Once that metering point is encountered, the lines may change ownership. Here's a list of common places where that ownership transfer occurs.

WATER: At the meter or valve near the street.

COMMUNICATIONS: At the interface or connection on the side of the home or building.

ELECTRIC: At the meter.

SEPTIC: Wholly owned by property owner.

WELL: The water and the electric services for wells are wholly owned by the property owner.

PROPANE: The lines to a back-up generator or pool heater are not typically marked by a utility company.

The transfer of public and private responsibility is assumed in some typical places. For example, if you are contemplating a parking lot change, the streetlight wires may be owned by the public utility, but the parking lot lighting wires may not be. Similarly, the electric, water, and communications lines that run from your home to other structures on your property — the garage, guest house, barn, workshop, or pool house — are yours.

It's your responsibility to make sure that any work done on your property can proceed safely.

Here's how to get started finding your lines.

Just email us at or call our Private Locating Division at (937) 559-5454. Either way, you'll reach our knowledgeable staff, who will guide you through the simple process:

  1. We will set up a meeting.
    A locating technician will meet with you to discuss the area to be marked and explain the procedures we use to find your lines.

  2. We will ask about any utility plans or records you may have, even if they're not documented.
    Sometimes plans or records never existed or are lost; in those cases, we can start with what you remember. Should you have any records of the existing underground lines or recollection of what is buried in the area, the technician will use this information to find and account for the underground utilities in question.

  3. We will mark the lines.
    The marking of the lines will be done once the technician is confident he has accurately traced the path of the underground utility. Various methods will be used to find the lines. The method used will be determined by several factors, such as soil condition, availability of a grounding point, the type of utility and its composition.

    Contact One Call Concepts Locating Services today.

    The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner you'll be on your way to starting your project safely. Reach us at, or call us at (937) 559-5454. We welcome the opportunity to answer your utility-related questions.