Call Before You Dig

know what's below call before you dig

Calling 811 – What can I expect?
  • Call 811 from anywhere in the country a few days prior to digging and your call will automatically be routed to your local one call center.  
  • You’ll give the operator information about how to contact you, where you are planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing. Your quick conversation with the operator will last a few minutes.
  • Utility companies who have potential facilities in the area of your dig site will be notified about your intent to dig.
  • Each affected utility company will send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground utility lines.  This typically occurs within 2-3 working days.  Click here to access specific information about North Carolina. 
Guide to calling in notifications Guide to Safe Digging- English Version Guide to Safe digging- Spanish version
Hand Digging  

hand digging with shovel

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.