Today, more and more of the utility companies that supply your home with power, heat, water, telephone, sewer, gas and cable television service are delivering those services underground. It is also possible that these buried service lines are close to the surface, making digging a dangerous endeavor. Fortunately, you can find out where utility owned lines are buried on your property by making a toll-free call to North Carolina 811 by dialing 811 . When you make that call, we will notify our member utility companies of your excavation needs and they will locate their buried utility lines, free of charge.
During your call, 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 are notified by North Carolina 811. This does not mean each member listed owns buried utilities on your property or that every utility company is a member with North Carolina 811. You will want to write down the names of the utility companies for easy reference.
Monday - Friday 7:00am to 7:00pm open for all locate requests (excluding holidays)
Note: North Carolina 811 is a 24 hours a day, 7 day a week operation.
Emergency locate requests are accepted anytime.
North Carolina law states that an emergency means danger to life, health or property requiring immediate correction or in order to continue the operation of a major industrial plant or in order to assure the continuity of utility services.
WAIT THE REQUIRED TIME
North Carolina law requires a two working days notice be given to the utility owners before your digging begins. Once all underground facilities have been marked , you may begin your excavation activities.
It may be quite surprising, but 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, planting a garden, trees, and shrubbery. If you are beginning a home improvement project that requires digging or adjusting the grade of your property, please contact North Carolina 811 before digging.
RESPECT THE MARKS
Before digging, be sure that all utilities have responded to your locate request. The North Carolina 811 representative will advise you during your call of the member utility owners we notify for you. The underground facilities located on your property will be identified by color coded paint, stakes or flags. It is the responsibility of the caller to contact a utility locating company to have any private lines located. Once the underground facilities have been located it is very important that the stakes, flags or paint not be disturbed. You may want to explain to young children that the brightly colored flags are not toys and should not be removed from the ground. The color code chart below serves as a guide to identify the marked underground facility.
The contacted facility members shall identify their lines in either water soluble paint or flags in accordance with the American Public Works Association Uniform Color Code as follows: Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit and Lighting Cables are red; Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum or Gaseous Materials are yellow; Communication, Cable TV, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit are orange, Potable Water is blue, Sewer or Drain Lines are green and Reclaimed Water, Irrigation and Slurry Lines are purple. Please be aware that some facility members may indicate via telephone, fax, or email that their facilities are clear or that a representative needs to be on-site during excavation.
Members are not responsible for marking private lines. Water, sewer and storm drain lines are marked within the right of way or to the meter, and not on private property. Lines from the right of way or meter to the residence or business are private lines and you will need to contact a private line locator to have these lines located. You must contact any non-member facility owners not listed on your location request directly to request their facilities to be located and marked. To see a listing of private line and contract locators please click here.
The width of the location tolerance zone includes 30 inches on each side of the utility plus the width of the utility itself. If you must dig within the tolerance zone, digging with caution by hand is recommended to help reduce the possibility of damage to the located utility. If a damage occurs, you will need to notify the facility owner directly, and you can dial 811 to enter a report of damage to underground facilities. In the event of a gas product release, please quickly and safely move up wind and dial 911 to report.
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS
WHAT DO I DO IF I DAMAGE AN UNDERGROUND FACILITY?
The underground facility can be damaged by any piece of equipment used for digging. Something as simple as a shovel can gouge, scrape, dent, or crease the casing that surrounds a buried utility line. While this type of damage usually does not cause immediate harm, it may lead to a future break or leak as the protective coating erodes. If this should happen to you, do not cover up the line with dirt. Stop digging! Then, contact the utility owner so they can repair the damage. A quick response could prevent future service interruptions and personal injury. If the damage creates a situation that threatens life or property, call 911 immediately.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT CALL BEFORE I DIG?
If you do not find out where it is safe to dig in your yard, it is quite possible that you will find a buried utility service and potentially create a life threatening situation. Damaging a telephone or fiber optic line may not only cause you inconvenience by the loss of your telephone, cable TV or Internet service, but could deprive the neighborhood of emergency assistance. This would make it impossible for law enforcement and emergency personnel to get the information they need to keep you and your community safe. Damaging gas lines could result in serious burn injuries and escaping gas could result in a community evacuation. Damaging an electrical line could cause major burns or electrocution.
NORTH CAROLINA 811
North Carolina 811 is a non-profit organization that strives to educate everyone regarding Underground Utilities. This page is designed with the homeowners in mind and to address their questions about North Carolina 811. We are located at 2300 W. Meadowview Road, Suite 227 in Greensboro, NC. To call in a locate simply dial 811 anytime and anywhere within North Carolina. To contact our business office dial 336-855-5760 between 8am and 5pm. Below we have also included our promotional materials to better educate you. Please feel free to print out all the material linked below or complete the Promotional Material Order Form to request these items be sent to you..