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September 27, 2021
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Utility Encroachment Information

Utility Encroachment permits are required to be obtained prior to placing or installing private utilities (facilities) in the road right-of-way on a long-term basis.  This permit process has been developed to ensure the private facility is installed and maintained in a way that ensures a high level of safety as well as minimizing interference with needed maintenance activities.  Please note, due to safety and maintenance requirements, not all requests may be granted.  Also, if conditions change and the right-of-way is needed for other purposes, the permit may be rescinded, and the permit holder or current property owner may be required to relocate the facilities at their own expense.  Certain public utilities such as buried electric, water, sewer, natural gas, or cable lines fall under our Utility Permit process.

Do I Need This Permit?

Common examples of when to obtain a permit include:

  • Burying a private utility line such as water, electric, gas, or fiber/data.
  • Any private facility not covered by the 811 Call Center.
  • Running seasonal irrigation pipe through an existing culvert pipe or under a bridge.

 Summary of Process

How to Start - Call us or come into our office with the information noted in the 3rd bullet of the 'Steps' section below.


  • Contact Roads to ensure your road is in fact a county road (as opposed to city or state).
  • Consult with our permit staff to determine if a utility encroachment permit is necessary and the work is allowed.
  • Make application for the permit in person at our office or over the phone.  Necessary information includes:
    • Name and mailing address of current property owner (or written authorization from property owner to contractor).
    • Facility location information such as address and other identifying marking(s).
    • Daytime telephone number.
    • Type of facility requested and map/sketch.
    • Legal description (township, range, section, and tax lot number).
    • Permits require photo documentation of the condition of the area prior to any work being done. 
  • Sign a 'signature page' which is your authorization to proceed through the permitting process.
  • If approved, your permit will then be emailed to you.
  • Once work is complete and inspected and found to be in conformance to all standards the permit will be filed for reference in our offices.

Timing - your initial contact with our office will begin the process of consulting with our permit staff.  Depending on the scope of the request it may be possible to develop a plan of approach over the phone in a short time.  In other complex cases there may be a site visit required to review the request.  Once the permit application process is underway it can take up to two weeks to issue you a permit depending on complexity and other variables.  Your work can then begin when you have the permit in hand.

Tips & Tricks

  • Be sure to start the process well ahead of when you want the project to be completed.
  • Gather necessary information before you come into our office or call - see details above.
  • You can obtain this permit and complete it fully without having to come into our office.
  • Don't forget to "Call Before You Dig" - safety first!
  • Be sure to read your permit carefully and note all requirements.
  • Permits are only valid for the project scope and extent as described in the permit.