Spring Remodeling, Planting Tip: Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig

Cable Splicing

This is a sample of underground wiring. This is not a residential site, but utility lines can be found underground in residential neighborhoods. Be safe – Call Before You Dig.

Are you planning on doing any home improvements?  Do these plans require you to dig up any dirt?  Well, let me give you the dirt on digging before you get started!

If you’re planning on doing any type of work related to landscaping, driving landscaping stakes into the ground, new fencing, anchoring supports for decks and swing sets, planting trees, removing tree roots, installing a new retainer wall, or even projects on a smaller scale, it’s always best to call before you dig!

The Ohio Utilities Protection Service (O.U.P.S.) is there to help you out.  As a homeowner it is important that you call O.U.P.S. at 8-1-1 or 1-800-362-2764 because not only is it best practice for your safety, it is also required by law.  O.U.P.S. asks that you call or contact them online by completing an e-dig request form within two to ten business days prior to starting your project.

Why should you make this call?  O.U.P.S. will help you determine the exact location of utility lines and/or the underground structure surrounding your home.  What if you don’t make the call?  By not calling you will risk costly property or environmental damage, explosion or fire on your property, utilities service interruptions, legal issues, injury, and possibly death.

How can you decipher between all of the utility lines?  Underground utility lines are color coded:

  •  Red – Electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables
  • Yellow – Gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials
  • Orange – Communication, alarm or signal lines, cables or conduit
  • Blue – Potable water
  • Purple – Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines
  • Green – Sewers and drain lines
  • Pink – Temporary survey markings
  • White – Proposed excavating

What if you hit a line?  For the protection of yourself and your crew, stop working and evacuate the area at once.  You should never try to repair any leaks or damages on your own, nor should you use your cell phone or anything else that can potentially cause a spark in the vicinity of the damaged line.  If you feel the damage is of an urgent nature, such as a gas line leak, then contact 9-1-1 immediately.  You should also contact the utility company as well as O.U.P.S.


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Filed under City of Cleveland, Cleveland Public Power, OUPS, Safety

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