Safe Digging

Safe Digging is No Accident . . .

Today, more and more of the utility companies that supply your home with power, heat, water, telephone, sewer and cable television services are delivering those services underground. It’s also possible that these buried service lines are close to the surface, making digging a dangerous proposition. Damage to buried utility lines can occur when doing typical home improvement projects such as putting up a fence, mailbox post, swing set or clothesline pole; building a deck or room addition; and planting a garden, trees or shrubbery. Fortunately, you can find out where utility-owned lines are buried on your property with one FREE call to Sunshine State One Call. Here’s what to do:
  1. Call 811 two full business days, not including the day you call, before digging (10 days if underwater). You will be asked a series of questions designed to help pinpoint the location of your project. At the conclusion of your call, you will be given a ticket number and a verbal list of utility companies that will be notified by Sunshine State One Call. Note: To help each locator pinpoint the exact location where you will be digging, outline the area with white paint, flags or stakes.
  2. Wait two full business days for all underground facilities to be marked with a facility color (see chart below). Keep marks visible during the entire project. If the marks are destroyed, call 811 again.
  3. Before digging, be sure that all utilities have responded to your locate ticket. If there are no marks after two full business days, check the positive response system at or call (800) 852-8057 to see if more information is needed or if a facility is cleared. (Enter locate ticket and contact numbers.)
  4. After two full business days, you may begin your project. Remember, the marks represent the facility’s approximate location. Use caution when digging within 24” of the marks. This is the legal tolerance zone.
A table of APWA Uniform Color Codes for marking underground facilities.
811 Know what’s below . . . Call before you dig!