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If you are planning any type of digging project, call 811 to have underground utilities marked. It's the LAW.
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The Process

  • ALWAYS contact 811 before you dig – it is the LAW!
  • Contact Virginia 811 at least three business days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before beginning any digging project.
  • Many underground utilities are buried very close to the surface. Hitting an underground power line can be life threatening to you and to your contractor. Hitting any underground utility line can be costly as you will be held responsible for damages if you do not dial 811 prior to breaking ground. There is no cost to the homeowner for VA811 service and protection.
  • Respect and protect the marks and dig with care.
  • Hired a contractor? It is technically the contractor’s responsibility to call VA811, but be insistent to have it done. The homeowner will be held responsible for damage, besides being inconvenienced and endangered if a utility line is hit.

What do the markings mean?

Many people wonder why grass near their home is marked or what the markings mean.

Utility color codes are used to identify existing underground utilities in construction areas with the intent of protecting them from damage during excavation. This is done through flags or a special spray paint, neither of which will cause long-term harm to your lawn.

The American Public Works Association (APWA) Uniform Color Codes for temporary marking of underground utilities are listed below: