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Electronic Positive Response (EPR)

Released: 11/1/21

Effective: 1/1/22


What is Electronic Positive Response (EPR)

Electronic Positive Response (+Response or EPR) is communication from the utility member (contract locator) to the excavator regarding the status of a DigAlert ticket. California has always had +Response in the law by requiring members to notify the excavator with status or mark the area to be excavated on site. What changed in Government Code 4216 on January 1st, 2017, is that Electronic Positive Response can now be made through the Notification Center starting January 1st, 2018. However, DigAlert began offering this service starting November 1st, 2017.  During 2018, 2019 & 2020 EPR was voluntary but starting on January 1st, 2021 EPR became mandatory for members, unless a 1 year extension was given prior by the Underground Safe Excavation Board.  Then on January 1st, 2022, EPR became mandatory for all members.

This means that members must respond to DigAlert's servers about the marking status of the ticket. DigAlert will then allow the excavator to check the responses through the website, SMS and apps anytime during life of the ticket. In addition, DigAlert will email the excavator at the start date and time listed on the ticket a complete status of responses, if the excavator has supplied an email address on the ticket and given permission to send emails.

How it works

Once a ticket is created, it is sent out to all utility members who asked for notification in that area. As members clear or respond to the site they send a response back to DigAlert with information about what was completed. For example; "locate area marked", "no access to area", "clear - no conflict", etc. DigAlert will store that information with the ticket along with a date & time stamp. Members can make multiple responses to the same ticket however responses can't be edited or deleted. This means that all responses will show with their corresponding date and time.

There are four ways for members to submit responses to DigAlert. Manually via web portal/mobile app, manually via a link on the ticket delivery, through a web service/TCP connection (this requires you to already have a ticket management system or application that can send TCP requests to our server) or through a REST API. Technical documents can be found here → Automated Electronic Positive Response via TCP Connection or via a REST API.  REST API documentation can be found here → Automated Electronic Positive Response via REST API.

What are the Requirements?

To use Electronic Positive Response as a utility member (or contract locator) you must;

  1. Be a member in good standing of DigAlert (for contract locators, the company you are locating for must be a member in good standing)

  2. Be assigned at least one active member code (done at the time of joining)

  3. Notify DigAlert you wish to use EPR through the center by emailing Member Services at memberservices@digalert.org

  4. Decide how you will submit your responses to DigAlert from one of the four available ways, found on the left menu

Warning!

If you have multiple facilities (water, electric, sewer) and you only have ONE member code, when you respond you CANNOT respond differently per facility. There can be only one response PER member code. This is why we recommend one code per facility type.

Important Information!

DigAlert recommends that if you have multiple facility types (water, electric, sewer, etc) that you have a member code for each type.

When are Responses Required?

Ticket Type

Ticket Type Description

Response Required

Optional Response Accepted if Sent (Only applies to NO Response Required)

Response Required Date/Time

AMND

Amendment

NO

YES

If before the original Work Date/Time on the ticket or Legal notice then the response due date/time remain the same. If after the response required date/time become legal notice.

CNCL

Cancel

NO

NO

None

DMGE

Damage

NO

YES

None

EXPD

Exposed

NO

YES

None

NEW

New

YES

Legal notice or Work Date/Time on ticket (whichever is later)

NRSP

No Response

NO

YES

None

REMK

Request Re-marks

YES

Legal notice

RNEW

Renew Only

NO

YES

None

RTRN

Return Trip

YES

Legal notice or Work Date/Time

Benefits of using EPR

For the member, EPR is an effective means of reducing the number of retransmits that they receive because the excavator saw no markings at the dig site.

For excavators, EPR provides them with information about the member facilities prior to arriving on the job site. If they provided an email address when the locate request was called in they will receive an email confirmation after the start date & time listed on the ticket.

Is Testing Available?

Testing is available for members that wish to test posting responses using the Automated Electronic Positive Response via TCP Connection and Automated Electronic Positive Response via REST API methods ONLY. If you wish to start testing, please contact our IT department for access after you have signed up from our member services department.

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