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Call 811 Before You Dig

​Located underground is a complex network of pipes and wires for critical services such as electricity, natural gas, communications, water, sewage and other utilities. Unsafe digging can damage equipment. If you plan to dig anywhere – from large construction jobs to home projects – smart digging means calling 811 before each job. This is the first step in helping you to dig safely and avoid damaging critical utilities.

call 811 

Pennsylvania One-Call: 811

Anywhere within the state of Pennsylvania call 811. Have utility lines marked before you dig - at home, in your neighborhood, at work.

Be Safe

What you don't see underground can hurt you. Before you dig, you are required by law to call Pennsylvania One-Call at 811 a minimum of three days before you plan to dig. They will help you to locate gas, electric and other underground utility lines. Whether you are planting a tree, building a fence or laying a foundation, contacting a line with a shovel or other digging device can damage power lines–and cause injury or worse.

Never assume you know what is below. Nationwide, one out of every three damages to underground utilities is the result of digging without calling 811.

Steps to Safer Digging

Make the call. One free, simple phone call to 811 will notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.

Provide advance notice. Contact 811 at least three full business days (but no more than ten days) prior to digging to ensure utility lines are properly marked.

Provide your project info. When you call, a representative from 811 will ask for the location and description of your digging project.

Allow utilities to mark underground lines. 811 will notify PECO and other affected utilities that will then send professional locators to the dig site to mark the exact location of any underground lines.

Understand the location marks. Each type of buried utility has its own color code.  Marks may be painted or located with flags.

ColorUtility Type
RedElectric, Cables, Conduit, Lighting Cables
YellowNatural Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum
​Orange​Communication, Phone, Cable, Fiber Optic
Purple​Reclaimed Water
​White​Proposed Excavation
Pink​Temporary Survey Marking

Dig Carefully. Once lines have been properly marked, carefully hand dig with a shovel around the marked areas. Also consider designing your project to avoid digging close to the underground facilities.  Never use mechanized equipment near marks or exposed pipes or wires.  Remember that utility marks will not indicate depth, and settling ground, erosion and other factors cause the location of pipes and wires to change over time.

Know the Law

Pennsylvania Act 50 (2021) requires notification by excavators, designers, or any person preparing to disturb the earth's surface anywhere in the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania Act 50 (2021) requires no less than three working days notice and no more than 10 working days notice from excavators who are about to: dig, drill, blast, auger, bore, grade, trench or demolish when in the construction phase. A designer is required to give no less than 10 working days and no more than 90 working days notice when engaged in the design phase. Both of these conditions involve the entire Commonwealth.

The developer or designated representatives (e.g., excavating contractor) are responsible for obtaining all necessary clearances, markings, and other notifications required by the Pennsylvania One Call System (POCS). In Pennsylvania, call: 811. Out-of-State, call: 1-800-242-1776. If you are demolishing a building and you need PECO to remove electric or gas facilities, call  811 Demolition Requests.

We're Here to Help

PECO is dedicated to providing education and assistance. Damage Prevention Group is dedicated to providing education and assistance to customers and excavators regarding safe excavation around PECO underground gas and electric lines. Safe digging is everyone's responsibility. We provide both office and field personnel to assist you with all issues related to excavation activities throughout our service territory. Our close partnership with PA One Call and our locating vendor, USIC, Inc., gives you access to the resources you need to ensure your job site is properly marked before you start to dig.

 Content Editor

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