What do the colorful flags mean?

The American Public Works Association Uniform Color Code is used to mark the approximate location of buried utility lines, helping excavators dig safely and avoid damaging buried lines. Scroll down to learn the meanings of the different colors.

Site MarkingsStandard color codes

Paint, flags, or stakes indicating the presence of a buried facility should correspond to the following color codes:

Red = Electric

Yellow = Gas/Oil/Steam

Orange = Communications/CATV

Blue = Water

Green = Sewer

Pink = Survey Markings

White = Proposed Excavation

Purple = Reclaimed Water, Irrigation

Confirm utilities have responded

Do not begin an excavation until you have confirmed all notified utilities have either responded to the location request—markings at a site do not indicate the site has been cleared for excavation. Best practice is to confirm your utility responses in real time by logging into your Exactix account.

Excavators can help the utilities and their crews by marking the exact excavation site with white paint prior to requesting a location request. Avoid using other colors, as they can misrepresent marking compliant with the standard color codes.

Common marking styles

Facility operators rarely provide depth information. If you find markings containing numbers, it likely indicates the width of the facility.