Call 811 before you dig.
Safe digging is everyone's responsibility. But when someone decides to take shortcuts, weekend projects can lead to Internet, cable, power and natural gas outages, injuries and sometimes worse. That's why it's so important (actually, it's law) to have buried utilities in your easement, right of way and permitted use areas located and marked before you dig.
Prepare your dig site
If you’re digging in a small portion of your yard, outline it with white paint. This tells the person who is going to mark out your project exactly where you will be digging.
You can help avoid natural gas service interruptions to customers and damage to gas lines by calling 811* BEFORE you dig. The underground pipeline will be located for you and there’s no charge for this service. However, please give at least two (2) working days’ notice before you plan to dig.
In case of an emergency, or if there is a gas odor present, please call 850-729-4700 or 1-800-239-3878 — call anytime day, night, or holidays.
*This number will not connect you to Okaloosa Gas. It should be used for line spots only.
Before you Dig: Contact 811
Prepare information for 811
Have the information below prepared before making the request:
Contact information including contact name, telephone numbers and email address.
County and city
Street address where you will be digging
Name of nearest intersecting street
Date and time digging is scheduled to begin
Number of days you'll be digging
Detailed description of where on property the digging will take place
Type of work being done (e.g. fence install, landscaping, irrigation install, etc.)
Type of equipment to be used
Notify 811 by phone or complete an online request two full business days before you want to dig. When you have provided all information, you will get a ticket number. If you provide a valid email, we'll send you a copy. Review all information to make sure it's accurate and keep it for your records.
Make sure all utilities have responded by checking the Positive Response System
Utility companies let you know through a positive response code whether your dig site is clear/no conflict, marked, or unmarked and why. It’s important to check these responses before the two full business days pass in case the utility has left instructions for you. The easiest way to check is click here and enter your ticket number and phone number.
Compare the responses to what you see in your yard, to ensure that everything is accurate.
NOTE: Most cities, counties and utility companies do not locate private utilities. These include water and sewer lines from the meter to the house and lines running from the home to an outside building.
Where can I dig?
The flags and paint show you the approximate location of underground utilties and some are buried just inches from the surface. If those marks run through your project area, take extra precautions when digging. You may even want to consider moving your project. Each buried utility also has a 24-inch tolerance zone around its outer edge. The safest thing to do is hand dig to expose the utility to avoid damaging it with mechanized equipment.
Did you hire someone to do the work?
The person or company doing the actual digging must get the locate ticket to ensure that the proper depths and equipment types used are included. [See s.556.195(13)]
Life saving marks
Flags like those above are placed in yards when someone is digging near or within the property. They mark the approximate location of buried utility lines. Someone digging near gas, electric, fiber and other lines relies on those flags to stay safe! DO NOT pull them up or remove and try to replace them. It violates Florida law to destroy any valid markings, s.556.107(3).
What do the colors mean?
Utilities are marked according to APWA Uniform Color Codes. The chart to your right shows which utility type each color represents.
Download the Sunshine 811 app.
Dig site information in the palm of your hand.
The new Sunshine 811 app makes it easy to keep track of member responses with a simple tap on Positive Response. With real time updates, you're always comparing the most recent responses to what you see at your dig site, keeping you and your crew safer and in the know.
What to do after the Storm?
Many storms may leave a trail of broken fences, toppled trees and unprecedented power outages in his wake.
We understand the importance on removing large trees and other debris, and even get your yard spruced up. But underground utilities can pose a real danger. The last thing we want is for your efforts to create an internet or power outage that affects you or your neighbors.
That's why you must call 811 first, wait for marks and dig carefully.
Click here to learn more from Sunshine 811.
Okaloosa Gas Urges You to Call Before You Dig: It’s the Law!
Call 811 to have natural gas pipelines located and marked prior to any construction or digging activity.
(Valparaiso, FL) – Whether planting a tree, putting up a fence, landscaping or starting an excavation project, Okaloosa Gas District strongly encourages you to follow the law and call. Failure to call substantially increases the chance of causing damage to natural gas or utility pipelines, thereby placing you and the public at risk. Okaloosa Gas District urges you to call 811, to have these pipelines located and marked by professionals at no cost before any construction or excavation begins – this includes any digging by hand or machinery. “Even actions as simple as planting a tree or installing a sprinkler system that a homeowner may do himself requires advance line-spotting,” says Brent Haywood, VP of Operations for Okaloosa Gas District.
“Damage to pipelines from outside forces, mainly unauthorized diggers, is the most common cause of pipeline damage and natural gas leaks,” says Haywood. “We want the public to know there are hazards associated with not dialing 811 for line spotting 48 hours in advance of digging. Not calling is unsafe and against the law.”
“By everyone — residents, contractors and officials — calling ahead and having natural gas or other utility pipelines located and marked prior to digging, most accidents can be avoided,” says Haywood.
Okaloosa Gas District serves natural gas customers in Okaloosa County, southern Santa Rosa County, portions of northern Escambia County, and southern Walton County. If you have questions about this news story, call 850-729-4700.