I’m doing simple projects on my property. Do I need to contact 811?
Yes! You must contact Indiana 811 for all digging projects, such as installing mailboxes, fences or landscaping.
How far in advance should I contact Indiana 811?
You must contact 811 at least two full working days prior to excavation to give the member utilities enough time to mark the approximate location of their underground utilities on your property. “Working day” means every day except Saturday, Sunday, and state and national legal holidays.
Is there a fee to have utility lines marked on my property?
No. Using Indiana 811’s services is always free.
I hired a contractor or landscaper to do a digging project on my property. Do I still need to contact Indiana 811?
Your contractor is responsible for contacting 811. Before any excavation takes place, you should confirm that they have contacted 811 and any non-member utilities to request that the approximate location of the buried utilities be marked with flags or paint.
I am only digging in one area and don’t want my entire yard marked. How do I prevent this?
If you’re only digging on a portion of your property, be sure to outline the area where you plan to dig in white paint or white flags.
What do the marks/flags in my yard mean?
Each color of paint/flag represents a unique type of underground utility. The APWA color code guide can tell you which colors indicate which type of utility. Avoid digging near buried utilities if possible. If you must dig within 24” of utility marks/flags, be sure to dig with care.
Do I need to notify 811 even if I am digging in an area that has previously been marked?
Yes, you need to submit a new ticket each time you want to dig. Factors like erosion and plant growth can alter the location of buried facility lines. It is also possible that utility companies have added new lines since your property was last marked.
Lines have been marked on my property. Now, where should I dig?
Now that the utility lines are marked, or you’ve been notified that they aren’t in conflict, you can begin digging with care. Indiana state law mandates a two-foot tolerance zone on either side of the marks. In the tolerance zone, only certain types of excavation are allowed, such as only being permitted to dig with hand tools. The size of the tolerance zone will depend on the size of the underground facility, which is sometimes noted by the utility locating technicians.
For example, if a water line is marked as six inches wide, the tolerance zone on either side of the line is two feet three inches from the mark. You will only want to use mechanical equipment outside of the zone after you have exposed the line(s) by safely digging with hand tools. Learn more by reading the Indiana Dig Law.
I think I hit a utility line. What should I do?
Stop digging immediately. Step away from the area and call 911 if the damage results in the escape of flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid, or if danger is present. After calling 911, notify the affected utility. Lastly, inform Indiana 811 of the incident.