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811 Call Before You Dig FAQs

811 Call Before You Dig FAQs

This article contains general information on locating your underground utility lines. For information specific to your state, please visit the 811 website located HERE and select your state.

Why do I need to contact 811?

Contacting 811 before you dig will help protect your family, your neighbors, and your home. Knowing where gas, electric, water, and other facilities cross your property will help you dig safely and avoid potential utility disruption, personal injury, or property damage.

When do I need to contact 811?

  • Always contact 811 before beginning any excavation project on your property.
  • Contact 811 at least 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays) prior to digging. In Michigan, you will need to contact 811 at least 72 hours in advance.

How do I contact 811?

  • Contacting 811 is simple! Simply dial 811 on your phone or visit your state’s 811 website to submit an online request.

Who will I talk to when I contact 811?

  • When contacting 811, you will be connected to a representative from your state’s 811 center who will ask a few simple questions about your project. You will be given a ticket number and instructions on next steps, including how to confirm all utilities have located their lines on your property.

What information does 811 need from me?

  • The address where you plan to dig, as well as the county and the nearest intersecting street
  • The type of work you will do (i.e., plant a tree, install a mailbox, etc.)
  • The exact area on the property where you plan to dig. (i.e., against the back of the house, 5 feet inside the left fence line, etc.)
  • When you wish to begin digging

How do I know when it’s safe to dig?

  • When you speak to a state 811 representative, you will receive instructions on how much time to give utility companies to locate their lines and also how to confirm all utilities have located their lines on your property. If Metronet has not located their lines within the allocated time, please escalate the request to Metronet by calling 877-407-3224.

What does NOT get marked when I call 811?

  • Only the buried utility lines that have been registered by your local utility provider will be marked. Unregistered or private utilities will NOT be marked.

What are private utilities?

  • Private utilities include sprinkler systems, invisible dog fences, gas lines for grills and other outdoor equipment, electrical lines to landscaping lights or outdoor structures, water lines to pools, septic lines, and any other personal service lines.

Important things to know

  • Paint and/or flag markings are approximate. A “tolerance zone” is roughly 18” on either side of the markings. Dig with extreme caution within the tolerance zone to precisely locate the buried utility.
  • Some Metronet customers may have terminal boxes buried flush with the ground within the public utility easement on their property. Since a terminal box can feed multiple customers, these homeowners may have more than one Metronet fiber line buried on their lawn. Take extra caution when digging near these structures!