Before You Dig

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Call Before You Dig!

Prior to doing digging of any sort on your property, you must call to get "locates" of the various utilities that are underground. Failure to do this could lead to breaking an underground utility line which could cause outages, restoration costs, and physical injury or death.

Who Do I Call?

At least 48 hours before you intend to dig, you must call the Utility Notification Center (UNC) at 811. If your phone cannot reach the 811 service, you may also call the UNC at (800) 922-1987.

When calling for locates, please have the following information ready:

  • Physical Address
  • Your name
  • Who the work is being done for (general contractor or project)
  • Type of work (landscaping, foundation, sprinkler system, etc.)
  • Extent of work (depth, specific location, etc.)
  • Access issues (i.e., dog in yard, locked gate, etc.)
  • Contact name and number
  • It is recommended that you use white paint to show the area where the digging will occur

After I Call, Then What?

Within 48 hours, representatives from the various utilities will come to your property and mark the location of the underground lines with colored paint (see below to see what the colors represent). If access is an issue, such as a dog in the yard, locked gate, etc., the locater will respond by email to indicate that the locating work could not be completed and why; the customer must then call for a fresh locate when the condition has been addressed. Please be sure to allow at least 48 hours before any work is to be started.

What do the colors mean?

  • Red: Electric
  • Yellow: Gas
  • Orange: Communications -- Nextlight Internet, Cable TV, Phone
  • Blue: Water
  • Purple: Irrigation
  • Green: Sanitary

Are there other lines I need to know about?

If your electric meter is not attached to the house, then your property contains private electric lines that run from the meter to the home. In addition, sewer, water, and storm drainage lines all have private components to them, typically from the curbstop to the house. In order to have these marked or flagged, you must hire a private locating company – these lines will not be marked by the utility. It is your responsibility to have this done before work begins.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • 1. What is that flag in my yard?

  • 2. Who put the flag there?

  • 3. How much notice do I get before locate flags or markings are placed?

  • 4. What do the colors on the flag or markings mean?

  • 5. Can I remove the locate flags?

  • 6. How long will the flags be in place?

  • 7. How do I know if a flag or marking has been out there too long?

  • 8. Once it’s safe to remove the markings, does the paint wash off?

  • 9. Who should I contact about locate flags or markers?

  • 10. What is a private line?

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