Dig smart. Dig safe. Call 811.

Installing a deck? Planning a pool? Planting a tree? No matter the undertaking, if your project requires digging, there’s an easy way to locate utility lines buried on your property. Dial 811.

A simple call to 811 connects you with a regional center for locating utility lines.

There is no charge for the service and it is easy to use. Before you make your call, first outline your project area with white paint. It’s important to use this color because of pre-established color coding standards utilized by utility companies.

When calling 811, tell the operator the location of your project, including street address, township and county, and the name and phone number of the person who will be doing the digging. This could either be the homeowner or a professional contractor. Make the call at least three working days before you plan to dig, not counting weekends or holidays.  

Don’t begin your project until all the utility lines are marked. You may have several different people come and mark your site with spray paint. Electric lines will be marked in red, gas lines in yellow, telephone and cable lines in orange, water lines in blue, and central sewer in green.

Once your lines have all been marked, you can begin your project. Dig carefully and be watchful for utility lines. Locating underground wiring is not an exact science, so take care as you undertake your digging in yards or at construction sites.

If a project gets delayed because of weather or other reasons, the markings remain legally valid for 20 days from the time the locate request is initiated. You can learn more at www.call811.com.