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Contractors safe digging

safe digging

We’re here to help you get your job done as safely as possible.

Hitting a buried line while digging can disrupt utility service, cost money to repair, or cause serious injury or death. Calling 811 before every project will help you avoid dangerous and/or costly consequences.

Steps to safe digging

Call 811 before you dig. This quick call will notify all utilities in your area of your plans to dig. You can also submit an online request. Make sure to do this at least two business days before you dig. On average, between 7-8 utility operators are notified for each request.

Pre-mark the excavation area using white paint or flags. Marking the site will let us know what area to focus on when we arrive.

Wait the required number of days to allow utilities to send out locators. Within two business days, someone from each utility will arrive at your site to mark the approximate location of buried lines with paint or flags at no cost to you. 

Confirm that all utilities have responded to your request. Use the process explained by your 811 call center representative or outlined on your 811 center ticket to confirm that each affected utility has responded. If you see clear evidence of a utility, such as an above-ground marker, manhole cover, or utility box, but no utility marks, contact your 811 center so that the utility can be notified.

Respect the marks. The marks provided by utility operators are your guide for the duration of your project.

Dig with care. Lines cannot be exactly pinpointed, and the depth can't be precisely determined. State laws generally prohibit the use of mechanized equipment within 18-24” on all sides of a marked utility, which is called the “tolerance zone.” If you must dig near the marks, hand dig or use vacuum excavation to expose the facility. After exposing the facility, avoid using mechanized equipment within the same tolerance zone.

Call to have the location remarked for free. If your project gets delayed more than seven days, you can call to have the area remarked. Don't forget to call at least two full business days before work begins.

Neighbors like you can help us maintain a safe, secure, and reliable pipeline system. If you observe any unusual or suspicious activity near our pipeline facilities, please call 800-694-8989.