When it comes to utility lines, we are all connected. Before your excavation project, it is important to call 811 so we can send locators to mark your property and prevent a disruption to service. But where we mark is only a fraction of the entire utilities system. Knowing the location of these lines throughout your neighborhood, as well as what the color of the flags stand for, will give you a better appreciation for damage prevention prior to your home project.
We mark with white flags for proposed excavation. For your project, we will mark where you plan on digging. When you see white flags in your community, the city is most likely about to begin its own excavation.
We use pink flags for temporary survey markings. These are put in place as the surveyors are carrying out their measurements and help surveyors avoid mistakes that could possibly turn into injuries.
When we mark with red flags, this indicates electric power lines, cables, conduit or lighting cables. These will mark only your home’s power lines, which connect to your neighborhood’s power grid. Red flags are important to mark so that the power doesn’t go out for your entire neighborhood.
Yellow flags represent gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials. These will help you steer clear of gas lines, which, if hit, could cause gas leaks resulting in soil contamination or even an explosion.
When you see an orange flag, it is marking communications, alarm or signal lines and cables or conduit, aka the system controlling your home’s telephone and television access. These are also likely connected to your neighborhood’s communication lines, so dig with caution.
Blue flags stand for water, irrigation and slurry lines. This is usually potable or drinking water. These are important to note, because if they are damaged, you could flood your house and potentially cause water damage to your neighbors.
When locators mark with purple flags, they are indicating reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines. Reclaimed water is recycled water that was once wastewater. It is used to treat impurities and remove solids to sustain landscape irrigation. The lines normally run through the neighborhood into a common city line.
We mark with green flags to signify sewers and drain lines. These are connected on a neighborhood and city level and eventually dump into the nearest body of water. Similar to hitting a water line, you could cause flooding and the release of poisonous gasses should you sever one of these.
As you can see, a lot could go wrong if you don’t call 811 before digging. Give us 48 hours notice, and we will come mark your utility systems properly.