Underground Utility Markings Help You Dig Safely

Posted by Allison Symonds on Sep 21, 2020

Undeground wastewater flag for excavatorsMany people walk over them everyday without noticing. But the colorful paint marking buried utilities underneath sidewalks and roads is essential to public safety, real estate development and infrastructure management.

Unintentionally digging around underground utilities can be costly, dangerous or even fatal. A construction crew that hits a water line could cut off drinking water to thousands; a broken sewer pipe can leak dangerous waste into groundwater; and a split gas line can lead to explosions and fires. As a result, any time a homeowner, utility operator, construction crew, or rehab company needs to dig, they’re responsible for protecting existing underground facilities or structures in the area. 

Call 811

811 is America’s national call-before-you-dig phone number. Call 811 is a free, public service available for individuals, companies and public utilities to protect community safety as well as workers. Statewide offices offer a simple process to request locating services in a proposed dig site, coordinating with relevant underground facility owners to provide clear information about buried lines. Those locating services are evident from the temporary colored paint, flags, stakes and whiskers they leave behind.

A combination of national, state, local and industry standards regulate what and how those markings are used. And understanding those markings could mean the difference between a safe, efficient dig site and disaster. It’s important for locators and excavators alike to ensure that any and all underground utility markings are correctly used and easy to interpret.

Utility Markings GuideEnvirosight has created a free poster guide to the common symbols, abbreviations and colors used by operators to mark underground utilities. It’s ideal for hanging in your truck as an easy reference when you’re called out to locate at a proposed dig site, or before beginning excavations. Protect your crew, your community and your facilities with safe excavation and locating practices.

Request your FREE Temporary Markings for Underground Utilities poster from Envirosight today.

Request Now

Topics: All Topics Resources Standards and Compliance