Call 811 Before You Dig – Know What’s Below




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There is a complex network of pipes, service lines and wires carrying power, phone, cable, natural gas, water, sewer and other essential services under your yard. Damage to these items can lead to hefty fines and/or 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 more importantly- 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?


On Georgia 811’s website, they state that, “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.”

Have a project that involves digging? Contacting Georgia 811 should be the first step. Making sure that utilities are marked before you dig can help you avoid a costly and/or dangerous mistake.  Please note that 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? Continue reading for more information on the difference between public and private utilities.



Public and Private Utilities


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Public Utilities

As defined by Georgia 811, “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 or by calling ‘811’. Public utilities include the main and lines running from the main to a gas, power or water meter.”

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Private Utilities

As defined by Georgia 811, “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.’”