Call Before You Dig

digging lady

Safe digging is no accident! Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 before each job. 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.

Before beginning any outdoor digging project, call 811 at least 48 hours prior to digging to prevent possible injuries, property damage, and inconvenient outages. This phone call starts the process to get underground utility lines marked for free. By calling 811 from anywhere in the country, your call will be routed to your local One-Call Center. The local One-Call Center operators will ask you for the location of your digging job and route your call to all the affected utility companies. The utility companies will then send a professional locator to mark the lines. Once the underground lines have been marked, you will know the approximate location of your utility lines and can dig safely, because knowing what’s below protects you, your family, and even your neighbors.






The state of North Carolina requires a 24-inch buffer on each side of the marked utility line. When digging, use a hand shovel and make sure to always dig at least 24 inches away from each side of the marks, not on them. If you hit an underground utility line while digging, you can harm yourself or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially be responsible for fines and repair costs. Remember: Awareness is key. Play it safe when it comes to digging projects. For more information, visit

Did You Know?

  • One utility line is unintentionally hit every minute in the U.S.
  • 40% of all U.S. digging damages result from not calling before digging.
  • Utilities are buried only a few inches underground, making them easy to strike even during shallow digging projects.

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