“Come and listen to a story about a lady named McGee
A simple suburban homester just wanting a new tree
But when our green thumber plunged that shovel in the ground
Up from the depths come a-bubblin’ brown….…Sewage, that is. Smelly sludge, septic tank tea.”
- Severe injury if that shovel hits an electrified line. (Hit a natural gas line and they may never find you again.)
- Fines from local regulators.
- Liability for repair expenses to utility companies.
- Liability to neighbors for cutting power, water, phone, cable or sewage lines.
- Even if there is no immediate visible damage, your shovel may damage the protective coating of a gas line, for example, starting a gradual leakage or deterioration that is a ticking time bomb.
The 811 calls are directed to a local center, which then notifies all the affected utilities. They then mark all underground lines—at no cost to you—with easily recognized colored lines or flags:
- Red, electric.
- Orange, communications, telephone/CATV.
- Blue, potable water.
- Green, sewer/drainage.
- Yellow, gas or oil.
- Purple, reclaimed water or irrigation.
- Maroon, temporary survey.
- White, pre-marked site of intended excavation.