Starting your project811 before you dig
Whether you are landscaping, building a fence or a deck, or installing a pool, no project that involves digging is too small or insignificant to eliminate the need to follow proper safety procedures.
If you hire a contractor to do the work, state law requires them to place a location request with UDig NY at least two full working days, but no more than 10 working days before beginning your project to ensure all underground utility lines are properly marked by their owners. Learn more about Code Rule 753 in its entirety.
Review the 811 process
Step 1: Click or call before you dig
- Submit a location request with UDig NY online or by phone at 811. It is free and easy.
- You will receive a Location Request number and a list of member utility companies that will be notified of your planned digging project.
- UDig NY member utility companies do not locate and mark private facilities on your property.
Click here for more information on private facilities.
Step 2: Wait + Locate
- New York State law requires all member utility companies to respond to your Location Request within two (2) business days (not including the day of submission), or before the date/time of your intended work start.
- Utility responses will be provided to you from UDig NY’s Automated Positive Response (APR) system. This system is a consolidated response from all notified utility companies. This response will be emailed to you but can also be checked in real time using Exactix.
- It is your responsibility to check for the status of responses using the email provided to you by UDig NY. All notified utilities must respond to your Location Request before you can begin your work.
Step 3: Confirm Status
- The colors of the markings on the ground represent the type of utility.
- You want to verify that the responses from the member utilities match what you see on your job site. For example, if the electric company has responded that they have marked your location, you should see red paint and/or flags in your area to designate the location of the underground line.
- UDig NY member utility companies do not locate and mark private facilities on your property. Click here for more information on private facilities.
Step 4: Respect
- Identify the Tolerance Zone. The Tolerance Zone is the diameter of the buried facility, plus two feet on either side of the designated center line. If the diameter is unknown, the Tolerance Zone is just two feet on each side of the designated center line.
- Hand expose lines within the Tolerance Zone and cross section using hand tools.
Step 5: Dig with Caution
- Before you use mechanized equipment within the tolerance zone you must:
- Verify the location, type, size, direction of run and depth of the facility.
- For gas and liquid petroleum lines, verification must be by means of hand-dug test holes.
- The location of other utilities must also be verified by means of hand-dug test holes unless otherwise agreed upon with the facility operator.
- If you suspect that you have damaged an underground facility, stop digging and contact UDig NY by calling 811 as well as the utility company.
- If you suspect the release of any gas or liquid as a result of the damage, evacuate the job site and call 911.