We’ve all seen them – those little flags that stick out of the ground in a rainbow of colors indicating the presence of underground utilities. But did you know that each color signifies a different type of utility line? The list below, produced by the American Public Works Association, identifies the utilities associated with each flag:
■ Yellow: Natural gas, oil, or gaseous materials
■ Orange: Communication lines
■ Red: Electric power lines
■ Pink: Temporary survey markings
■ Purple: Reclaimed water, irrigation or slurry lines
■ Blue: Potable water
■ Green: Sewage and drainage lines
□ White: Proposed excavation
Before starting any digging, the law requires you to call your local One Call center to tell them when and where you plan to dig. In most states, One Call is a free service.
If you’ve never called 811 before performing excavation work, it’s a very simple process. Don’t assume you know where the underground utilities are located – call your local One Call by dialing 811.
When a call is made to One Call, the operator of the underground utilities will visit the site and mark the location using spray paint on the surface directly above the utility line or by placing flags identifying the type of underground service.
So, remember to:
- Call your local One Call center by dialing 811
- Wait for the site to be marked
- Respect the marks
- Dig with care
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