Call 811 before you dig
Be Safe. It's free. It’s the law.
- Call 811 before you dig.
- Give two working days' notice before digging. (48 hours)
- Utility companies will mark the location of underground utility lines.
- Respect the utility markers (see chart below) and dig carefully.
Homeowners and contractors who are going to undertake projects involving excavation or digging must provide at least 48 hours' notice. The 811 service will connect you with the state one call center, which will alert participating utility companies such as electric, gas, cable and phone about the planned digging so they can mark the appropriate location of their underground lines if necessary.
Remember, you are responsible for marking your private lines such as invisible pet fences, sprinkler systems, yard lights and gas grill lines.
For more information on natural gas safety, tour our natural gas safety section by navigating through the links on the left or related sites on the right.
Local utilities will then come to your home or work site and mark the location of their underground lines using the following color codes:
Utilities Location & Coordination Council Uniform Color Code.
|WHITE - Proposed Excavation|
|PINK - Temporary Survey Markings|
|RED - Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit and Lighting Cables.|
|YELLOW - Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum or Gaseous Materials.|
|ORANGE - Communications, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit.|
|BLUE - Water, Irrigation and Slurry Lines.|
|PURPLE - Reclaimed Water, irrigation and Slurry Lines|
|GREEN - Sewers and Drain Lines.|
How does 811 work?
Call 811 from anywhere in the country a few days prior to digging, and your call will be routed to your local One Call Center. Tell the operator where you're planning to dig, what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a few days, they'll send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables, so you'll know what's below - and be able to dig safely.
But wait, what happens next?
Well, since your call was routed to your state one call center, locate crews from member utility companies have found out exactly where you are planning to dig and are on their way to mark where those hidden underground utility lines are under your lawn!
Most locate crews will arrive to mark your property within a few days, ( be sure to check your state one-call center law for specific information) and will make sure you know exactly where to dig - even though the depths of utility lines may vary and there may be multiple utility lines in the same area.
Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step for a safe digging project.
Well you called before digging, waited for your lines to be marked, and now it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
Locator crews, possibly from multiple companies, have been to your property and made sure to mark the approximate location of your underground utility lines. Check the area before proceeding with your project-if a member utility has not responded or if underground facilities are clearly present and not located, call your state one call center again to have the area located properly.
Now, you are now officially ready to dig!
When digging, make sure to always dig around the marks, not on them. Some utility lines may be buried at a shallow depth, and an unintended shovel thrust can bring you right back to square one - facing potentially dangerous and/or costly consequences.
Now that you've made the smart call to 811 and protected yourself, your family and neighborhood, make sure to spread the word about 811. Don't forget that with time, erosion or root structure growth may shift the locations of your utility lines, so remember to call again, each time you are planning a digging job. Safe digging is no accident. Know what's below. Always call before you dig.
For more information on 811, www.call811.com