Know What’s Below.
Call Before You Dig.
There are nearly 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the United States. These buried facilities, including electric, gas, water, sewer, cable TV, high-speed internet, and landline telephone provide the services we depend on for basic everyday needs.
If you are planning a job that requires digging, even if you plan to hire a professional, a call to 811 is required before you begin working. 811 is a free, FCC-designated national one-call number that connects a caller from anywhere in the country to the appropriate local one-call center.
The one-call center will then alert the appropriate underground facility owners so they can dispatch locators to mark the approximate location of their lines with paint or flags.
Unintentionally striking a line can result in inconvenient outages for entire neighborhoods, harm to yourself or your neighbors, and repair costs.
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after making a call to 811.
Here’s How it Works
- One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for your local one-call center to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.
- Call a few days prior to digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly marked.
- When you call 811, a representative from your local one-call center will ask for the location and description of your digging project.
- Your local one-call center will notify affected utility companies, who will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines.
- Once lines have been properly marked, carefully and safely dig around the marked areas.