Careless digging can damage underground utilities, causing disruption of vital services, property damage and even possible injury. Taking the proper steps to avoid damage can prevent expensive repairs, project delays and costly fines.
At least three business days, prior to outdoor construction or digging, contractors and property owners – whoever is excavating – must call New Jersey One Call at 811 or 800-272-1000 and take the following steps:
- Wait for the site to be marked with paint, flags or stakes. Yellow indicates the presence of underground natural gas lines.
- Respect the marks and dig with care.
- Hand dig within two feet of buried piping and facilities.
- Be mindful that inclement weather may wash away the painted markings.
Know what's below and call before you dig - 811 or 800-272-1000. It’s FREE and it’s the LAW.
If damage occurs to natural gas lines, no matter how minor, report it immediately to 911 and call the operator of that gas line.
Call Before You Dig!
The Underground Facility Protection Act, better known as the “One Call Law,” was signed into law in October 1994. This law requires that anyone digging must call 1-800-272-1000 or 811, so that operators can markout their underground utilities. Anyone digging (Schools, Police, Public Safety, Public Works, Municipalities and Homeowners) to install, remove or replace trees, tree stumps, curbs, street and sign posts, mailbox posts, fences, construct decks, additions, or create new gardens, etc. must call 1-800-272-1000 or 811.
The One-Call system will notify the operators of underground facilities to markout your planned activity. You must wait three business days for your mark out and not more than 10 days before you start your project. Your notification is good for 45 business days. The person/company doing the excavation is required to call the Center. The information needed to process your request is as follows: Name, address, the dig address and the nearest intersection, how deep you are digging, the type of work and where you need the property marked out. You cannot work outside the scope of work stated on your request. You must hand dig within 2 feet of markouts before using mechanized equipment. Be sure to have this information available when you call the Center. You will receive a ticket number, which you should keep until your project is safely completed.
The One Call Center is not responsible for the markouts. If you should find that your property has been marked, it means that someone has requested that utilities markout in your area. This is done for your safety.
For your information the color code markings for utilities are: Red-electric; yellow-gas, oil, dangerous materials, product & steam lines; Orange-CATV communication; Blue-water; Green-sewer; White-proposed excavation.
Here’s How It Works in a Nutshell:
- Always call the One Call Center prior to digging within the time frame. 1-800-272-1000 or 811.
- Be ready with all-important information: The municipality, street address, extent of work, caller’s name, contact person name, address and phone numbers.
- Then, wait for the site to be marked! Marking could be paint, flags or stakes.
- Respect and protect the facility operator’s marks. Note the color of all markings used and what type of facilities they indicate.
- Dig with care! Always hand dig within 2 feet on either side of any marked lines.
- If damage, dislocation, or disturbance of an underground utility line occurs, immediately notify the affected facility, utility or pipeline.
- If damage creates an emergency, take immediate steps to safeguard health and property.
Results of not calling:
- Personal injury, including loss of life
- Damage to the environment
- Costly property damage
- Damage to these utilities lines: communication (i.e. telephone, long distance communications, cable television, 911 emergency, fire and police communication), electric, gas, pipelines, sewer, traffic signals and water lines
- Costly delays and expensive repairs
- Legal problems
- Civil penalties
If you need further information call 877-256-2697.