SSOE Group

Call 811 Before You Dig

Posted April 15, 2013

Are you getting ready to take on some construction work around the house? Building a deck? Installing a fence? New mail box? Even a simple job like planting a tree in your yard can jeopardize your safety. Many energized power and utility lines are buried just a few feet under the ground. Digging, trenching or excavating without knowing where the utility lines are buried could be costly – and fatal.

One Call Does it All: 811 is the FREE nationwide number to call before you begin any digging project. By calling 811 you will be routed to the underground locating service in your area. If 811 does not work in your area, call 800-362-2764.

Allow at Least 48 Hours: Call 811 at least 48 hours before planning to dig to allow the utilities time to come out to mark their lines with color coded paint or flags.

Respect the Marks: Marking with paint or flags will show the approximate location of the utilities. Don’t guess if there is any confusion – call the utility directly to clarify.

Excavate Carefully: The tolerance zone is measured 18 inches to either side of the underground utility. You must excavate with caution if digging inside the zone.

Liability: If you fail to call 811 and damage a utility service, you could be held liable for repair, replacement costs and other damages. The cost could be minor and inconsequential if you were to incur a serious injury or death.


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  1. tylerAugust 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks for helping create awareness about 811. Very few people actually know about this number, and it should be common knowledge.

  2. tylerSeptember 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    811 is a great service and hopefully posts like this will continue to raise awareness about the number