Know What's Below. Call Before You Dig.#
The safest and only legal way to dig is to know what's below ground before your shovel or equipment moves any dirt. Even small projects like planting a shrub require you to make advance arrangements before digging.
Calling 811 or putting in a request online helps you learn where utility-owned lines and equipment are buried before you start your project. This one-stop center arranges, at no cost to you, for utilities like us to locate and mark buried utilities in your yard.
The penalty for not contacting 811 is $200 plus a minimum of $5,000 if damage occurs (penalty increases per each subsequent event).
How far in advance do I need to call 811?#
You should call 811 or use your state 811 center’s website a few business days before you begin any digging, including common projects like planting trees and shrubs or installing fences and mailboxes. The specific amount of advance notice that you are required to provide varies by state.
What info do I need before calling 811? #
You will need to know the address of where you plan to dig, including the county and nearest cross street, as well as the type of project you’re completing and the exact area on the property where you’re planning to dig. Whether you call 811 or make your request online, you’ll need the same info.
After I call 811, what do I do?#
You need to wait a few days to allow utilities to respond to your request and ensure that all utilities have indeed responded to your request before breaking ground. Once all utilities have marked their buried lines, you should dig carefully around any utility marks and consider relocating projects that are close to buried utilities.
Red markings indicate electric power lines, cables, conduit, and lighting cables. Yellow markings are used for natural gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or gaseous materials. Orange markings specify communications, alarm/signal lines, cables, or conduit. Blue markings identify potable water lines.
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