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How 811 works

Calling 811 - What can I expect?
  • Call 811 from anywhere in the country a few days prior to digging and your call will automatically be routed to your local one call center.  Interested in contacting the 811 center online?  Visit our state map to see if your local one call center accepts online requests.

  • You'll give the operator information about how to contact you, where you are planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing. Your quick conversation with the operator will last a few minutes.

  • Utility companies who have potential facilities in the area of your dig site will be notified about your intent to dig.

  • Each affected utility company will send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground utility lines.  This typically occurs within 2-3 working days.  To access specific information about your state, visit our state map.  

Remember the 811 process
  • Notify your local one call center by calling 811 or making an online request 2-3 days before work begins. Be sure to check our state map to find out how far in advance you need to call.

  • Wait the required amount of time for affected utility operators to respond to your request.

  • Confirm that all affected utility operators have responded to your request and marked underground utilities.

  • Respect the marks.

  • Dig Carefully around the marks with care.

Still have questions?

When you call 811, the operator at your local 811 center will be able to answer your questions.  If you'd like any additional details about using the 811 service, want to know the timeframe in which you can expect buried lines on your dig site to be marked or would like information about how or whether you will be notified when the markes are complete, the 811 operator can talk you through the process.  

The video below provides a brief overview of the calling 811 process and the simple conversation you'll have with the 811 operator.  For additional information on the one call center in your state, visit our 811 state map.