Call Before You Dig

Avoid Underground Hazards

Striking buried utility lines can cause serious damage and expose you to injuries. Call 811 before you to dig to avoid hazards.

Underground electric, gas, communications and water lines are everywhere—even on private property. Striking a single line while digging can cause serious injuries, as well as service disruption that may result in repair costs, fines, and environmental damage.

The good news is that you can easily avoid these hazards by having your underground pipes, wires, and equipment located and marked out for free.

Call 811 First—It's the Law

Call 811 at least 2-10 business days prior to digging to have underground pipes, wires, and equipment located and marked for free.

Digging projects include:

  • Planting a tree
  • Putting in a new mailbox post
  • Installing a fence
  • Doing any kind of home, garage, or deck construction

What happens when you call 811?

You'll be automatically connected to the call center and asked to provide some basic information about your digging project.

The call center will then provide the information to the utility companies, who will send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines in the immediate vicinity of your planned work location.

You can expect any mark outs to be done within three business days—do NOT begin digging before this time has elapsed. If the site does not have underground utilities, you will be notified.

The mark-out permission will expire after 45 calendar days. Digging must begin within 10 days after the original mark out was requested.

Once lines have been properly marked with colored paint, flags or stakes, you are free to carefully dig around the marked areas. Always dig by hand within two feet of marked lines.

If you hit an underground line ...

If you accidentally damage gas piping or smell gas when excavating, please move to safe area and call PSEG&G immediately at 1-800-880-7734 (PSEG), or call 911.

To learn more about safe digging, check out New Jersey One Call or the Call 811 websites.