Here Are Some Common Homeowner Questions
Dig with CARE
Yes! You must contact Virginia 811 for all digging projects, such as installing mailboxes, fences or landscaping.
You must contact Virginia 811 at least 3 working days prior to excavation to give the member utilities enough time to mark the approximate location of their underground utilities on your property. “Working day” means every day except Saturday, Sunday, and state and national legal holidays.
No. Using Virginia 811’s services is always free.
Your contractor is responsible for contacting Virginia 811. Before any excavation takes place, you should confirm that they have contacted 811 and any non-member utilities to request that the approximate location of the buried utilities be marked with flags or paint.
If you’re only digging on a portion of your property, be sure to outline the area where you plan to dig in white paint or white flags.
Utility color codes are used to identify existing underground utilities in construction areas with the intent of protecting them from damage during excavation. This is done with either flags or a special spray paint, neither of which will cause long-term harm to your lawn.
Yes, you need to submit a new ticket each time you want to dig. Factors like erosion and plant growth can alter the location of buried facility lines. It is also possible that utility companies have added new lines since your property was last marked.
Now that the utility lines are marked, or you’ve been notified that they aren’t in conflict, you can begin digging with care. Virginia state law mandates a two-foot tolerance zone on either side of the marks. In the tolerance zone, only certain types of excavation are allowed, such as only being permitted to dig with hand tools. The size of the tolerance zone will depend on the size of the underground facility, which is sometimes noted by the utility locating technicians.
Stop digging immediately. Step away from the area and call 911 if the damage results in the escape of flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid, or if danger is present. After calling 911, notify the affected utility. Lastly, inform Virginia811 of the incident.