Call Before You Dig

Avoid Underground Hazards

Striking buried utility lines can cause serious damage, injury or worse. Find out how to dig safely.

Know What's Below

Get additional tips on digging safely at New York 811.

Why call 811?

Whether you're planning a home improvement project or just planting a tree, it's important to be aware of what's under your soil. Buried gas lines, water pipes and electrical wires may be located beneath your yard. Striking a single line can cause serious injuries, as well as service disruption that may result in repair costs, fines, and environmental damage. The good news is that you can easily avoid these hazards with one free phone call to 811 before you dig.

Who needs to call 811?

Homeowners or contractors planning any project that involves digging, even for small projects such as planting a tree or building a deck, are legally required to call 811 first. Underground electric, gas, communications and water lines are everywhere, even on private property. Call 811 at least 2-10 business days prior to digging to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located and marked for free.

What happens when you call 811?

You'll be automatically connected to the New York 811 call center and asked to provide some basic information about your digging project. New York 811 will then provide the information to the utility companies, who will send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines in the immediate vicinity of your planned work location. Once lines have been properly marked with colored paint, flags or stakes, you are free to carefully dig around the marked areas. Always dig by hand within two feet of marked lines.

If you hit an underground line...

If you accidentally damage gas piping or smell gas when excavating, please call 911 immediately from a safe area.