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before you dig

Call 811 Before You Dig

Call 811 at least two full working days before digging.

If you plan on doing any digging on your property, make sure you “Know What's Below - Call Before You Dig”. It's important to have all underground utilities located before digging to prevent costly and potentially dangerous contact with buried utility lines.

Before you dig on or near your property, call 811 to locate any underground lines. Whether you are digging for a flower bed, a fence post or a swimming pool, find out if there are electric lines (or any other utilities, such as gas, telephone, water, etc.) buried in the area.

Digging into an underground power line could not only disrupt electrical service for you and nearby homes, it could deliver a lethal shock.

Five Steps for Getting Your Utilities Marked

1. Plan Your Project

1. Plan Your Project

Before you call Indiana 811, you will need to know specific details about where you plan to dig, including the street address, county and township. You will also need the name and phone number of the person or company who will be doing the digging. We recommend you mark the designated area with white paint or flags so the utility operators will only mark that area.

2. Call Indiana 811

2. Call Indiana 811

Make a free call to Indiana 811 by simply calling 811 or 1-800-382-5544. You can also apply online at indiana811.org/811now. You will be given a ticket number, and a list of all the utility operators who will be responding to your request. He or she will also answer any questions you have about the utility locating process. .

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3. Wait for the Marks

3. Wait for the Marks

The marking process typically takes two full working days, meaning if you call on a Tuesday, the utility operators have Wednesday and Thursday to mark the approximate location of lines. Each line will be marked in the color that corresponds to the appropriate utility.

4. Confirm the Marks

4. Confirm the Marks

After two full working days, confirm that all utility operators have visited your property by comparing the various colors of the marks on your property to the list of utilities given to you. If a utility operator does not locate a utility line in the designated area, a representative will let you know they do not have a conflict by calling you, or painting an “OK” along with the company’s initials in the corresponding utility color. For example, if you do not have a gas line running through the area, the utility operator will write an “OK” in yellow paint in the designated area.

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5. Dig With Care

5. Dig With Care

Now that your utility lines are marked, you can begin digging. Indiana state law mandates a two-foot safety zone on either side of the marks. In the safety zone, you can only dig with hand tools. The size of the safety zone will depend on the size of the underground facility, which is sometimes noted by the utility locators. For example, if a water line is marked as six inches wide, the safety zone on both sides of the line is two feet three inches from the mark. You will only want to use mechanical equipment outside of the zone after you have exposed the line(s) by safely digging with hand tools.

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