Before you begin any digging or excavation project on your property, it is important to ensure that you have any and all underground utilities properly marked. Otherwise, the excavation may critically damage vital utilities, leading to expensive repair costs. In addition, running into underground utilities can be dangerous for excavators as well as homeowners.
For those who live in Virginia, getting the underground utilities properly marked at your home or construction site is easy. Virginia 811, or Virginia Miss Utility, is a non-profit organization that creates easy-to-identify markings at your construction site. This helps to show excavators and homeowners where underground utilities are. This allows the excavator or homeowner to know what areas to avoid while digging.
If you are planning on digging or excavating, contact Virginia 811 at least three business days prior to beginning the project. This ensures they have time to get out to your site and provide the necessary markings for safe excavation.
The following is everything to know about when to call Virginia Miss Utility, including how their process works and how to submit a ticket.
The reason it is important to have your underground utilities professionally marked off is to ensure a safe digging process. When struck while digging or excavating, underground utilities pose a huge risk of water damage, electrical shock or other concerns depending on the type of utility that is hit.
In fact, Virginia law requires anyone who plans to begin a construction, demolition or renovation project that involves digging of any kind to call Virginia 811 before they begin. This is primarily for the benefit of the owner, construction crew operator or contractor and any additional members that are working on the digging project.
The fact is even the most skilled excavators are not perfect at determining where underground utilities are, especially if it is in a location they are not familiar with. It is essential to call Virginia 811 to ensure safety throughout the process.
Dial 811 Line 48 Hours Before You Start
The good news is getting in contact with Virginia 811 is incredibly easy and convenient. All it takes is simply calling 811, and you will be in touch with someone from Virginia Miss Utility. If they do not answer initially, they will respond to your call in a timely manner.
There is no charge from Virginia 811 to the excavator or homeowner. They also can get to your site relatively quickly to mark the underground utilities. Virginia 811 ensures you do not have to wait an extended amount of time to start your project.
Virginia Miss Utility requires that homeowners and excavators who are interested in digging or excavating at their home or a construction site contact Virginia 811 at least 48 hours before they plan to begin any digging. It is very important to keep in mind that Virginia law does not allow any digging until after the utilities are marked. If Virginia 811 determines that the excavator or homeowner is already well into the digging process, then it may cause a concern.
Also, giving Virginia Miss Utility a call well in advance not only gives them time to get to your home, but also gives yourself time to prepare. The last thing that you want is to rush when starting digging or excavating.
Search Tickets Online
Homeowners and excavators have several ways to get into contact with Virginia Miss Utility before they begin an excavation or digging project. In addition to calling 811, they can also fill out a ticket on the Virginia 811 website. The approval status can then be monitored on the same website.
The way it works is simple. Submit a “Single Address Ticket.” Virginia 811 will then begin processing the ticket, which may take up to several days. The homeowner can check the status of the ticket through “Ticket Search.” There is also a “Ticket Revision Express” in which the homeowner or excavator can revise the ticket if the needs for their construction project change.
Virginia 811 is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer and respond to phone calls and process tickets.
What Do Differently Colored Markings Mean?
As mentioned, there are many different types of underground utilities. On the Virginia 811 website, they list what their different color markings indicate. Homeowners can easily look at these markings on their property or construction site to know what underground utilities exist. The different colored markings include:
- Red – Electrical power lines
- Orange – Communication lines
- Yellow – Gas lines
- Green – Sewer lines
- Blue – Potable water
- Purple – Reclaimed water
- White – Proposed excavation line
It is important to become familiar with the different types of colored markings. Some are more dangerous than others, such as electrical (red), gas (yellow) and sewer (green) lines. With that said, all underground utilities should be avoided at all costs during the digging or excavation process.
It is also essential to stay between the white markings. These markings indicate where the homeowner or excavator intended to dig or excavate. Staying within the white markings, can help avoid running into any underground utilities during the construction project.
Contact Dirt Connections
Get in touch with Dirt Connections today to learn more about the excavation or digging process in Virginia. We can answer your questions regarding whether or not you need to call Virginia Miss Utility. Dirt Connections also offer a range of construction materials for excavation, including high-quality fill dirt for homeowners and excavators in Virginia. We look forward to your call, so feel free to reach out today.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!