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Located underground is a complex network of pipes and wires for critical services such as electricity, natural gas, communications, water, sewage and other utilities. Unsafe digging can damage equipment. If you plan to dig anywhere – from large construction jobs to home projects – smart digging means
calling 811 before each job. This is the first step in helping you to dig safely and avoid damaging critical utilities.
Anywhere within the state of Maryland call 811. Have utility lines marked before you dig - at home, in your neighborhood, at work.
Striking an underground utility line while digging can cause harm to you or those around you, disrupt service to entire neighborhoods, and potentially result in fines and repair costs defined by Maryland’s Miss Utility law.
Never assume you know what is below. Nationwide, one out of every three damages to underground utilities is the result of digging without calling 811.
Make the call. One free, simple phone call to 811 will notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. You can also contact Miss Utility online at
missutility.net/itic (professionals) and
Provide advance notice. Contact 811 at least two full business days (but no more than ten days) prior to digging to ensure utility lines are properly marked.
Provide your project info. When you call, a representative from Miss Utility will ask for the location and description of your digging project.
Allow utilities to mark underground lines. Miss Utility will notify BGE and other affected utilities that will then send professional locators to the dig site to mark the exact location of any underground lines. Use your ticket number to check on the status of your request with Miss Utility at
Understand the location marks. Each type of buried utility has its own color code. Marks may be painted or located with flags.
Dig Carefully. Once lines have been properly marked, carefully hand dig with a shovel around the marked areas. Also consider designing your project to avoid digging close to the underground facilities. Never use mechanized equipment near marks or exposed pipes or wires. Remember that utility marks will not indicate depth, and settling ground, erosion and other factors cause the location of pipes and wires to change over time.
Excavators, if you have contacted Miss Utility for location of underground facilities and have questions for BGE, please contact USIC. Contact information for the USIC supervisors for work locations throughout central Maryland is listed below. If you have additional questions, please contact the BGE Damage Prevention unit at
Dig Smart training videos and other free materials are available from BGE’s Damage Prevention Unit.
Call811.com explains how 811 works, why people are calling, and the organizations behind 811, like BGE, Miss Utility and the Common Ground Alliance.
SafeGasMaryland.org provides information from the Maryland Gas Operators Advisory Committee on digging safely and a full range of natural gas safety topics.