Have the following information ready when you contact 811:
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. You will want to write down the names of the utility companies for easy reference. Every utility company is not a member of North Carolina 811.
North Carolina law requires a three working day notice be given to the utility owners before your digging begins. Member facilities have three full working days, beginning the first working day after the notice is given, to mark the locate area requested for their underground utilities or notify the excavator of no conflict in that area.
The underground facilities located on your property will be identified by color coded paint, stakes or flags. 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. Refer to the color code chart as a guide to identify the marked underground facility.
Positive Response is a means for the utility members of North Carolina 811 to provide information regarding the status of your location request. Have the facilities been marked? Does the locator need to meet with the contractor or are there no facilities in the area of excavation? There is no charge to the excavator in retrieving the information and members can save the cost of retransmitted location requests.
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 public utility-owned lines are buried on your property by contacting 811 either by phone or online. NC811 will notify our member utility companies of your excavation needs and those utilities will have professional locators mark their buried lines, free of charge.
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PLEASE BE AWARE:
PRIVATE LINES WILL NOT BE MARKED BY CONTACTING 811
What is a private line?
It is the responsibility of the excavator to contact a utility locating company to have any private lines located. The utility company determines public utility lines themselves, and the maintenance usually ends where the meter of the particular line is. Beyond the meter and up to the building or home, including the backyard is then consider a private utility, for which the property owner is responsible for.
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. Member facility owners are not responsible for marking private lines. You must contact any non-member facility owners not listed on your location request directly to request their facilities to be located and marked.
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 upwind and dial 911 to report.
The width of the location tolerance zone includes 24 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. The depth of the facilities is not known by NC811. Facility owners will bury their lines according to their industry’s code. However, facility depths can vary due to installation practices, changes in grade, soil erosion, and other variables that occur over time.
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