Utilities: Ready to Dig? Start with 811

The utilities going into your home are the same as those going into a shopping center. There is gas, water, electric, and sanitary sewer pipes between your residence to the public right of way.  Typically, the homeowner is responsible for the utility line between the meter or valve and the house. The responsibilities are similar at a shopping center. These responsibilities should be well established so when, not if, a utility failure occurs, the owner’s agent knows who to contact.

To head off potential failures or damaged pipes, and before every pavement project, the local joint utility council must be called to locate the public utilities. The national number to call is 811. This free service will locate the public utilities but not private utility lines. There are companies available to locate private lines such as lighting and telephone/fiber optics.  

After the utilities are located and marked, we recommend having the utility locations marked on a site plan for future reference. We find it convenient to have a detailed utility map available to review with contractors during a pre-construction meeting just to give everyone a heads up about what to expect. Regardless, the utilities must be located before every project. 

Image from call811.com

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