Excavators & Public Works
1. Call before you dig
Be safe before digging: call the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline at 811 or your specific state’s hotline.
What to Expect
A representative will take information about your project and notify the appropriate utility companies. They will then come to your site and mark any underground utility lines , including power and gas lines, communication cables, and water lines.
Hitting a buried utility cable may cause property damage, injury or death. Sometimes these lines are buried at a shallow depth. What’s more, the law requires anyone planning to do digging, blasting or tunneling work to have the utility lines at the site marked before beginning the job. Even seemingly simple tasks like installing a mailbox, planting a tree, or building a deck require a call to 811.
After utility representatives inspect your site and mark any underground utility lines, it’s safe to dig around them, but remember to excavate with care.
Location marks of underground utility cables have accuracy requirements which vary by state, ranging from 18 to 24 inches from the actual line.
Whether you’re a contractor, farmer or homeowner, know what’s below: call 811 before you dig.
Learn More About Specific State Guidelines
The Call 811 Before you Dig website provides information about buried utility lines and precautions to take before digging. It also features a U.S. map allowing users to click any state to learn more about guidelines specific to that state and details about its 811 center. Your state’s unique 811 web page will answer questions you may have about requirements in your area.
Common Ground Alliance (CGA)
CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground utilities and infrastructure. Find out more about buried utility lines and what to do before digging on the Common Ground Alliance website .
- – Call 811 for any digging project, no matter how small.
- – The 811 service is free and available to all.
- – Representatives will mark any buried utility lines so you can dig around them.
- – Hitting a buried utility line may cause property damage, injury or even death.
- – Sometimes utility lines are buried at a shallow depth.
- – The law requires a call to 811 before digging.
- – Get the Excavation Best Practices Checklist App. Download the free Excavation Best Practices Checklist app. This checklist is a great resource to use at excavation sites to ensure that you are following industry recognized best practices. The app is available in both English and Spanish. The Excavation Best Practices are part of the Common Ground Alliance’s Best Practices (version 11.0).