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A logo with "CALL 811 BEFORE YOU DIG" text and "811 Safe Digging Partner" around a shovel graphic.

Utilities mark their underground lines to prevent damage during excavation and construction work. This practice helps avoid service disruptions, costly repairs, and potential safety hazards such as gas, sewer and water leaks or electrical shocks. The markings are color-coded according to a standardized system to indicate the type of utility present. Here is a summary of the colors and their meanings:

  • Red: Electric power lines, cables, conduit, and lighting cables
  • Yellow: Gas, oil, steam, petroleum, and gaseous materials
  • Orange: Communication, alarm, or signal lines, cables, or conduit
  • Blue: Potable (drinking) water
  • Green: Sewers and drain lines
  • Purple: Reclaimed water, irrigation, and slurry lines
  • Pink: Temporary survey markings
  • White: Proposed excavation sites


USA Dig is a service that helps individuals and organizations locate underground utilities before initiating any excavation or digging activities. This service is crucial for preventing damage to underground utility lines such as gas, water, sewer, electric, and telecommunications, which are essential for daily operations and safety.

An infographic outlining "5 Steps for Safe Digging," emphasizing the importance of calling 811 before digging to avoid damaging underground utilities.

Reason for Locating Underground Utilities Before Digging:

  1. Safety: Prevents accidents that could cause injuries or fatalities due to striking underground gas or electrical lines.
  2. Preventing Service Disruptions: Avoids interruptions to essential services like water, electricity, and internet for communities and businesses.
  3. Legal Compliance: Many regions have regulations requiring utility location before digging to ensure public safety and infrastructure protection.
  4. Cost Savings: Helps avoid costly repairs and liability issues that can arise from damaging underground utilities.
  5. Environmental Protection: Prevents environmental hazards such as gas leaks or water contamination.

By using USA Dig, individuals and organizations can ensure a safer and more efficient excavation process.

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USA North 811 | Call 811 Before You Dig

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