Underground utility lines are damaged about once every six minutes. Striking one of these utility lines can result in utility service outages or personal injury. Unintentional damage to underground facilities during small or large excavation projects causes a significant disruption in telecommunications, water supply and electric power. Additionally, unsafe digging is a leading cause of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline accidents. Coordination, communication and cooperation between excavators, contractors, homeowners and utility companies can greatly reduce the risk of damage to underground utilities.
Practice Safe Digging by calling Alabama 811.
This is a free service to all Alabama residents and is required by law.
It is an Alabama law to Dial 811 no less than two days before starting any excavation project. The Alabama 811 communication network will answer the call and notify area utility companies. Utilities will send a locate technician to mark their lines on the property with paint and/or flags. Once the lines are marked, respect and protect the lines and avoid them when digging to prevent costly damage or injury.
Water lines will be marked from the road to the water meter. Water lines beyond the meter are the responsibility of the homeowner and homeowners will need to locate the water lines from the meter to the home, manually. Find the location where water enters the home and its proximity to the meter location. The line should typically go directly from the home to the meter. Dig carefully with a shovel while watching for unmarked water lines and avoiding any other marked utility lines.
All utility companies follow the American Public Works Association (APWA) Utility Code Guidelines. These color codes provide a universal understanding of the temporary markings of underground utilities to prevent accidents, damage or service interruptions for anyone working on or near underground facilities. The APWA Utility Codes are below:
Utilizing this free service to locate and mark underground utility lines will help reduce the chance of personal injury and loss of service due to unintentional damage.
For additional information about Alabama 811, visit their website at AL811.com.