The Beginner’s Guide to

Undergoung Utilities and their Standard Colors

If you find underground utilities, you can easily determine what type of utility it is for. Before, it was difficult to do so and people were at risk if they try to make a dig without being able to identify all the lines underneath the land. Today, the risks have been lessened although not completely eliminated. It is thus important that we know how to identify these underground utilities if there is a need to dig the ground so that you can prevent harm. If you need to dig through a piece of land today, you are required by the OSHA to first identify or locate underground utilities. Otherwise it can be something disastrous. If you hit any of the underground utility lines while digging then you can be fatally injured. The location of the areas where the lines were struck can experience service interruption. People can call 811 to prevent these incidents, before they proceed with digging their property. Utility companies can then mark out their respective lines when you call them out.

Marking lines may lessen the risks but there are time when accidents still happen. Utility lines are struck every 6 minutes, some place. When utility lines are stuck it causes disturbances in traffic lights wastewater pipes, telecommunication lines and more. This is then something that affects public health and safety.

Companies can locate utility lines through the use of GPR or Ground Penetrating Radar. When locating utility lines underground, this machine makes it easy to do so. Calling 811 is enough for the property owner to let companies located their lines.

It is easier to identify underground utility lines today because they now use different colors for each utility. Below are some of the colors used for different utility lines.

If you see white lines, then these are proposed excavation sites. You can mark areas with white lines that will soon be excavated.

Pink lines are temporary survey markings. These are used by surveyors to mark off legal property boundaries.

Red lines are used to mark electric power lines, cable, conduit, and lighting cable. This color is appropriate for electrical works since it is associated with fire and danger.

Yellow lines are used for gas, oil, steam, petroleum, and gaseous materials. Natural gas leaks can create potentially disastrous situations and this is why it is appropriate to use the bright yellow color.

Communication, alarm, signal lines, cable, or conduit use orange lines. If you see blue lines then these are lines for potable water. If you see purple lines, that this is for reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines. Green lines are used for sewer and drain lines. A project can be derailed for a long time when these utility lines are hit.

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