Call 811 Before You Dig – Know What’s Below

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Under your yard is a complex network of pipes, service lines and wires carrying power, phone, cable, natural gas, water, sewer and other essential services. If you break them, you’ll pay for them, and it could cause a catastrophic event in your neighborhood.

Calling for locates

Even if you’re just digging with a shovel to plant a tree, you should call for utility locates. It’s easy, cost-free, and it’s the law. You can go to the Georgia 811 Website  or call “811” 2 days before digging to get utilities marked.

Why contact Georgia 811 before you dig?

Notifying Georgia 811 before you do any mechanized digging is important for many reasons: your safety, and the safety of those near your digging project; preventing environmental damage and utility service interruptions; and, avoiding project delays, expensive repairs and legal problems. In Georgia, it’s the law! For safety’s sake, it’s always best to notify Georgia 811 about any digging project you may have – even if your project is small. 

Contacting Georgia 811 is the correct first step when taking on a project that involves digging. Making sure that utilities are marked before you dig can help you avoid a costly and/or dangerous mistake. However, the utility service providers in your area that are notified by Georgia 811 will only mark public utilities. It is likely that you have both public and private utilities on your property. So, how do you tell the difference between public and private utilities?

Public and Private Utilities

HOW TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

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Public Utilities

Public utilities are owned and maintained by municipalities or utility companies and are part of a large public network. Examples of public utilities are water mains, buried electric lines, gas mains, fiber optic/telecommunications lines, and sewers. When approaching a home, the public utility will usually end at the meter, or the point of service. Having public lines marked is free after creating a locate request at www.georgia811.com or by calling ‘811’. In the example below, public utilities include the main and lines running from the main to a gas, power or water meter.

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Private Utilities

Private utilities extend beyond the public utility network and are typically the responsibility of the property owner. Examples would include power to detached garages, barns, pool heaters, and landscape lighting; as well as lines to septic systems, water lines between the water meter and your home, sewer lines between the city or county sewer system and your home, irrigation systems, invisible pet fences, propane, grills, and wells. Homeowners should hire a private locator to get private lines located. If you need someone to locate private utility lines, you can search online for ‘private utility locating companies near me.’