In today’s modern living, many of the utilities to service our homes and businesses are now installed underground: water, sewer, natural gas, power, telephone, cable TV, and fiber optic lines. Homeowners and businesses have a legal and financial responsibility for any damage caused to those underground utilities.
To avoid the pitfalls that will incur if a utility line is hit call 8-1-1, the national call-before-you-dig phone number. 811 is a free line locating service and it’s easy to use. Here’s how it works:
Call 8-1-1 or request a line locate online at least two business days before you begin any digging, including common projects like planting trees and shrubs or installing fences and mailboxes. The information you will need to provide includes the address of where you plan to dig, the type of project you’re completing, and the exact area on the property where you’re planning to dig.
Utility companies will respond to your call within a few business days. Each notified utility will mark its lines with paint or a flag in that utility’s designated color. Note, however, that any private lines—such as water and sewer lines on private property—will not be marked.
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.
We can never guarantee the depth of underground facilities. Utility lines are usually installed prior to any new construction. If the land is graded, leveled, or reshaped in any other way, this will change the depth of any underground utility lines. Natural ground settling will also change the depth. If you need to dig near the located marks, hand-dig (use a hand implement, like a shovel) or soft-dig (use air or water pressure) within 24 inches of either side of the markings to avoid damage.
To learn more about 8-1-1 in your state and to request a line locate online, click the button below: