For Professional Excavators


Notify your state’s 811 center by calling 811 or making an online request 2-3 days before work begins. Click here to find information about your state’s specific notification period requirement, your 811 center, and online service availability.

The 811 center will transmit information to affected utility operators.



Wait the required number of days (check your state’s requirement here) to allow utilities to send out locators to mark buried lines with paint or flags. On average, between 7-8 utility operators are notified for each request.



Confirm that all affected utility operators have responded to your request and located accurately. State laws vary on the process for confirmation, so please check with your local 811 center for more information.

If you see clear evidence of a utility, such as an above-ground marker, manhole cover, or utility box, but no utility marks, please contact your 811 center so that the utility can be notified.



Respect the utility marks (paint or flags). The marks provided by utility operators are your guide for the duration of your project.

If you are unable to maintain the marks during your project, or the project will continue past your request’s expiration date (varies by state), please contact your 811 center to ask for a re-mark.



Dig carefully. State laws generally prohibit the use of mechanized equipment within 18-24” on all sides of a marked utility, which is called the “tolerance zone.” Click here to find out what the tolerance zone is in your state.

If you must dig near the marks, hand dig or use vacuum excavation to expose the facility. After exposing the facility, avoid using mechanized equipment within the same tolerance zone.

Contact 811 in My State

811 In Your State

Make your request online, see the specific waiting period in your area or learn more about safe digging in your state.

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