Are you planning home improvements? Are you installing a deck or fence? Are you installing a new heating system?
What is Dig Safe and why do you have to call them before you dig?
Dig-Safe is a not-for-profit clearinghouse that notifies participating utility companies of your plans to dig. In return, these utilities respond to mark out the location of their underground facilities. This is a FREE service, funded entirely by its member utility companies.
It’s important to understand the state laws that require you to notify Dig Safe for even small projects. Even if you’re installing a mailbox or planting shrubs, the depth of utility lines vary, and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area.
How does it work?
- “Pre-Mark” where you plan to dig before calling 811 – Pre-marking means to mark out the area on the ground where the work will take place, using white stakes, paint or flags. Note: Pre-marking requirements vary slightly from state to state. Take the time to learn the requirements for the state you live in.
- Gather the information needed to process a Location Request:
- Call 811 in advance – State law requires a minimum number of hours to be notified. Learn the time frame required for your state.
- Notify non-member facility owners – Non-member companies are not notified by Dig Safe. Check your states website to learn the types of utilities companies are required to be members of Dig Safe.
- Wait the required time – After notifying, you must wait a certain numbers of hours for utility representatives to respond to mark their lines within your pre-marked area. Uniform colored code systems are used to identify the type of facility identified.
- Respect the marks – Remember that pipes, cables and wires can be buried at any depth, so it can be risky to dig in close proximity of a buried line.
- Maintain the marks – Make sure the utility marks stay in place during your project. If the marks are compromised, call Dig Safe back to re-intact.