Underground utility lines run through our yards to deliver electricity, telephone, cable television, gas and water to our homes. Avoiding these lines while digging helps prevent damages that lead to outages and injuries. Be aware that every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a free call to Dig Safe at 811. Whether you are installing a mailbox or fence, or building a deck or patio, these projects should only begin after calling 811.
What is Dig Safe?
A safe digging project must always start with a call to Dig Safe. It is a not-for-profit clearinghouse that dispatches participating utility companies to mark where their underground lines are buried. This is free service, paid for by participating member utilities.
When should I call Dig Safe?
Even small, shallow jobs are a risk if you don’t know where utilities are buried. Call Dig Safe any time you dig, for any type of project.
Landscaping – Fencing – Walkway – Retaining Wall – Clothesline – Irrigation – Dog Fence – Swing Set – Mailbox – Basketball Hoop – Planting – Driveway – Root Removal – Patio
Damaging an underground facility is dangerous – for you, and for the people around you. A broken pipe or cable also causes inconvenient outages, expensive repairs and legal problems. This is why state law requires a call to 811, even for property owners digging on private land.
How far in advance do I call?
Massachusetts law requires at least 72 hours notice, excluding weekends and holidays. You must also “pre-mark” the area where you plan to dig before calling, using white stakes, paint or flags. This helps the locating technician reduce excess markings where you don’t need them.
What happens after I call?
The participating utility companies will respond within 72 business hours to mark the location of their underground facilities. You do not need to be home, unless you have specific questions, need to restrain pets, or give the locating technicians access to your property. Underground utilities are marked out with paint, stakes or flags, using a national color coding system.
How much does this service cost?
Dig Safe is a free service, funded solely by its utility members to promote public safety and avoid costly underground utility damage.
Visit www.digsafe.com to find out more information about 811.