Plan on doing some excavating or demolition? Maybe you want to build a deck, plant a garden, or install a new mailbox. Before doing any of this type of work, you need to “know what’s below.” In other words, there may be utility lines buried underground that you don’t know about. Before you dig, it’s important to find out where those lines run. You don’t want to run into a sewer line or a gas line while digging. You could injure yourself, damage property, and cause disruption of service.
Delaware’s Underground Utility Damage Prevention and Safety Act requires homeowners put in an excavation or demolition request at least 48 hours prior to work. The utility owners will then come out to locate and mark your site before you begin to ensure all is clear. Once those marks are made, you have 15 business days to start. Those marks become invalid after that time
Curious what those marked colors mean? White indicates the proposed excavation. But the others mark specific utilities:
Blue – Potable Water
Green – Sewers and Drain Lines
Orange – Communication, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit
Pink – Temporary Survey Markings
Purple – Reclaimed Water, Irrigation, and Slurry Lines
Red – Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit, and Lighting Cables
Yellow – Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum, or Gaseous Materials.
The best way to make sure you dig safely is to contact Miss Utility. It’s a notification center that you can call or put in an online request for the demolition or excavation you want to perform. If you don’t follow the law, there are penalties. There are actual repair costs and civil penalties up to $2,500 per violation and up to three times the actual repair cost of the damaged utilities. Plus punitive damages up to $10,000 per incident.
Need to contact Miss Utility? Information is below:
Call 800-282-8555 or 800-441-8355 or simply dial 811