Call 811 Before You Dig

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Call Before You Dig

When planning any outdoor work that involves digging or working near power lines, your first step should be to call 811, the number for Georgia's Utilities Protection Center, or request an e-Ticket from the center by completing this online form.

To avoid a potentially hazardous situation by digging into a power line or other utility, call 811 at least 48 hours before you begin your project. The 48 hours begins on the next business day after your request, excluding non-business days. Representatives of each utility will mark the location of existing lines with colored flags or paint so you can dig safely.

Be Ready

When you contact Georgia 811, be ready with the necessary information, including the address, the extent of the work, the caller's name, the contact person’s name and their phone numbers.

Safe Digging

Always hand dig the area that lies within 18 inches of either side of the marked lines. If damage or disturbance of an underground line occurs, immediately notify the affected company.

Look Up for Overhead High Voltage Lines

The High Voltage Safety Act requires that you call 811 at least 72 hours before beginning work within 10 feet of overhead high-voltage (750-volt) lines. The three-day notification allows time to ensure safety precautions are in place. If you're not sure whether a line in question is a high-voltage line, call 811.

Do I Really Need to Call?

Yes. Please contact 811 anytime you’re digging. Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked, but every digging job requires a call - even "small" projects like planting trees and shrubs.

Many utilities are buried just a few inches below ground. You can easily hit a line when digging for simple gardening projects, like planting flowers or small shrubs.

Installing mailboxes and fences are examples of projects that absolutely require a call to 811 to know what’s below before you dig. Hitting a line can knock out service to your home and neighborhood or result in fines, damage and serious injury.

Overhead Power Lines

If you’re working near overhead power lines, you should also contact 811.

When a piece of equipment touches a power line, the equipment becomes energized. Electricity can travel through the equipment and poses a serious safety risk for those in the area.

Georgia law requires anyone working in the vicinity of overhead high-voltage power lines to notify Georgia 811 at least 72 hours in advance, excluding weekends and holidays. This includes a typical overhead distribution line, such as those you’ll see along streets.

Previously Marked Areas

Erosion and root system growth can alter the depth or location of buried lines, or your utility companies may have completed work on their lines since the last time you dug – so you must call 811 before you dig, each and every time.

Check with your contractor or landscaper to make sure that the call to 811 will be made before they dig – whether it means you making the call, or your contractor doing so. Never let digging work begin without the call to 811!

Small Areas Can Be Flagged

If you are only planning to dig in a small portion of your landscape, outline the area in white paint or white flags available at home improvement stores to ensure only the utilities in that area will be located and marked. Be sure to let the 811 operator know about your plans, and he or she will help ensure the proper area is marked by utility locators.