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Call Miss Utility @ 811


Miss Utility of Virginia acts as a communication link between utility companies and individuals planning any digging activity, including homeowners, professional contractors and excavators. Though Miss Utility of Virginia does not physically mark lines, it does relay excavation and demolition requests to their member utility operators.

Call before you dig—it’s free!

By law, you MUST contact Miss Utility of Virginia at least 48 hours (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before beginning any excavation or demolition project. By not calling, you risk costly property or environmental damage, explosion or fire on your property or worksite, utilities services interruptions, legal problems and injury—or even death.

To contact Miss Utility of Virginia:

By phone: Dial 811 or 1-800-552-7001.
Online: visit (only professional excavators may notify Miss Utility of Virginia online).

This regulation applies to smaller landscape and construction projects too, including digging fencepost holes, anchoring supports for decks and swing sets, planting trees, removing tree roots and driving landscaping stakes into the ground.

Calling before you dig is the only way to determine the location of a pipeline or underground storage tank. Some people assume they can pinpoint a pipeline’s location simply by drawing a straight line between two or more markers. These markers, however, may not always be located precisely over the line. A pipeline may curve or twist underground to avoid natural and/or manmade objects, such as tree roots or cables.

What Miss Utility of Virginia will do...

When contacting Miss Utility of Virginia you’ll need to have the following information handy:

  • Address where the digging or excavating will be done (including the county name)
  • Lot number (if new subdivision or development)
  • Directions to the property (including the closest street or road intersection)
  • Extent of work to be done
  • The name of the individual serving notice of intent to excavate
  • The specific location of the proposed work (this item encompasses both address information and defining a specific excavation area). If specific location of proposed work can not be provided, excavators are required to outline the area using white paint, if practical.
  • Name, address, telephone number, fax, number, and email address of the excavator or demolisher
  • Excavator’s or demolisher’s field telephone number, if available
  • Type and extent of the proposed work
  • Name of the person for whom the proposed work is being performed

Miss Utility of Virginia will then contact its members with underground utilities in your area. Representatives from these member companies will come to the location to measure and mark their lines or tanks for you.

When utility company representatives mark the location, they will use colored flags and/or paint to identify the type of underground service. The chart below explains these color-coded markings.

Color Codes
Red–Electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables
Yellow–Gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials
Orange–Communication, alarm or signal lines, cables or conduit
Blue–Potable water
Purple–Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines
–Sewers and drain lines
Pink–Temporary survey markings
White–Proposed excavating

If you accidentally come in contact with a line or storage tank…

If you come in contact with a pipeline or storage tank, and cause minor damage such as a dent, gouge, scratch or break in coatings, call the appropriate utility with the type and location of the damage. Please allow the gas company time to repair the line or tank. If the contact results in a release of gas, please call the appropriate utility and 911.

Report unauthorized digging

If you suspect ANY illegal digging, call the gas company listed on the nearest marker right away. If no company is listed, call 911.

For more information...

To learn more about Miss Utility of Virginia and safe digging, call 1-800-522-7001 or visit For details about 811, the national call before you dig number, visit