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How Close Can You Dig to Underground Utilities?

When digging in an area that has utilities underground, it is important to stay at least 18 inches away from the 8-1-1 markings. These brightly colored flags and paint markings are there as an indicator that utilities are in that location. Accidentally cutting through pipes or wires can cause damage for a whole neighborhood and cause incredible costly repairs.

What To Do Before Digging

The 8-1-1 colored markings can sometimes be tampered with such as flags being pulled out by children playing outdoors. When something happens to these markings, it an be almost impossible to know where it's hazardous to dig. Before digging in an area with underground utilities, the local utility company should be called to confirm where pipes and wires might be located.

Different Methods of Digging

There are a few methods to getting digging jobs done. By using digging methods such as soft digging and hydro excavation, utility lines underground won't be damaged. That's because these processes use pressurized water or air to clear dirt. Then, a vacuum hose sucks up the debris and no more equipment is needed for the task.

Traditional methods of digging can also be used. Using large machinery can be beneficial when completing a large job. The area the scoop can cover makes it easy for large sections to be dug at a time. Traditional digging is usually done for extensive construction projects like building an apartment complex.

Think Before You Dig

When doing a project that involves digging, professionals should always be contacted. Whether it's finding out where utilities may be underground or having a trained team come out and dig for the job.

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