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Call 811 Before You Dig

by Cindy on February 4, 2015

On construction sites, most of us have seen the paint markings on the ground that show where the underground utilities are located. 

But what if we want to do a home improvement project?  Do we need to call 811?  
What if we are just planting a few trees or shrubs in our yard?

The answer is YES. You never know what is under ground and what utilities maybe around.
Once you have called 811 and requested the property to be marked, they will send their trained professionals out to mark the utility lines.  Each paint color corresponds to a utility type as noted below.

  • Red – Electric
  • Orange – Communications, Telephone/CATV
  • Blue – Potable Water
  • Green – Sewer/Drainage
  • Yellow – Gas/Petroleum Pipe Line
  • Purple – Reclaimed Water
  • White – Premark site of intended excavation

Sometimes 811 will request the area to be “white lined.”  This allows 811 to see the specific area of excavation to make sure they will mark utilities in the exact area.  If there is a private utility on your property, you will need to contact that company directly to have them mark their utility lines.
It typically takes 48-72 hours for utilities to be marked after a request is made.  This time frame does not include weekends or holidays.  If you neglect to call 811 before you dig and hit a utility line not only can you lose the utility service until it gets repaired, but it can also be very costly. In worst cases people can be injured or killed when digging into a utility line. 

Tagged 811, utilities