Call Before You Dig
Planning a home improvement project? Planting a tree? Installing a fence or deck? WAIT!
Call 811 before you dig
When starting an outdoor project that involves digging, state law requires that customers contact JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) by calling 811, a state-wide, toll-free number, to have utility lines professionally marked. Calling 811 is the most important step prior to starting a digging project because it protects yourself and others from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines.
How does 811 work?
Utility companies who have potential facilities in the area of your dig site will be notified about your intent to dig. Free of charge, each affected utility company will send a professional locator to the digging site to mark the approximate location of your underground utility lines typically within 2-3 days. Calls to JULIE can be made up to 14 days in advance and can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Allow the required time for marking
After calling 811, you must wait for the affected utility operators to respond to your request. The approximate location of underground utility lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes that correspond to the utility. Yellow paint indicates the presence of underground natural gas pipelines.
Prior to digging, confirm that all utilities have responded to your request.
Respect the marks
Once the lines are accurately marked, use the appropriate digging methods and dig no closer than 18 inches from the marked utility lines. This will help prevent any damage to underground utility lines.
Make sure the marks remain visible during the entire project. If the lines are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to call 811 to have lines re-marked.
Excavation work, including digging or plowing around a home or business is the most common cause of natural gas emergencies. If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinct odor of gas is present, call 911 or the Nicor Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 888.Nicor4U (642.6748) from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.