Thinking about breaking out your shovel?

Calling 811 can save you some trouble!

Race Communications recently experienced a major interruption in service throughout California due to a cut fiber line. Cut fiber lines tend to occur during this time of year as this glorious warm weather is a great motivator when it comes to getting home-improvement projects done!

Whether you’re finally getting around to fixing up the patio or you’re adding a new and improved garage or shed, calling 811 should be your very first step! You never know what may be lurking underground.

Water, gas, and electricity are just some of the utilities that may be underground on your property – not to mention your precious fiber lines for internet and phone services. Surely you wouldn’t want to disrupt your service (or your neighbor’s service)! In order to avoid a major headache in the form of a burst water pipe or electrical outage, be sure to call 811 at least two business days before you plan to dig. 

The 811 call center will then ensure that all public utilities are notified about the upcoming dig on your property. You may be asked to mark the area you plan to dig with white paint or white flags, which can be found at many hardware stores.

Then, each organization, either by themselves or via a hired third-party, will mark the area of each utility. Each type of utility has a different color so that you will know what is where. Not sure what the colors are? Here’s a quick recap:

The designated color for drinking water is blue; sewer is green, and gas, oil and steam are all marked yellow. Red is the color for electrical utilities and orange signifies communications – like internet, telephone and TV.

When you call 811, they will also mark for public utilities which are the ones that use the public right of way (or easement) to your house. You’ll need to keep an extra eye out for these as these lines could be responsible for providing service to entire neighborhoods.

So again, don’t break out that shovel before you make the call to 811! Be prepared that the representative will ask you some questions in order to process your request, including your address and nearby cross streets, city, county, the type and scope of the digging project, and a contact number. Now, what are you waiting for? Better get started on that “honey-do” list!