What Utilities Live Underground?

February 9, 2021 12:28 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Whenever you’re drilling underground in Roseville, CA, it’s important to know which utilities might be lurking under the surface. Hitting utility lines will not only damage the lines, but could prove extremely dangerous to the person doing the drilling. Knowing what to expect (and how to identify your underground lines) will ensure the safety of everyone involved, and your property as well.

What are underground utilities?

As you may already know, the term “utilities” generally refers to publicly-provided services to homes and businesses, such as phone, electricity, sewage, natural gas, water and more. Many of these lines are run underground so as not to impede buildings and traffic. In the United States alone, there are almost 100 billion feet of underground utilities installed.

Whenever you’re digging on your property, it’s crucial to know which utility lines are buried underneath your property, and where. Public underground utilities are the responsibility of the provider (such as your gas company, electric company, water company and more), but you might also have private lines. These could be sprinkler systems, private sewer lines and more. No one wants to accidentally hit a sewer line when all they want to do is pour a foundation, so it’s best you know the locations of utilities underground before starting a project in Roseville, CA.

Once you know where the lines are, they need to be marked on the surface according to the following color scheme:

  • Red: These are electrical lines, including cables and lighting cables.
  • Orange: These are usually telecommunication lines, alarms and cables.
  • Yellow: Yellow means “gaseous or flammable.” This is how you mark natural gas, petroleum, steam and oil lines.
  • Green: Green lines indicate sewers and drains.
  • Blue: Blue lines are for drinking water, often from your municipal water provider.
  • Purple: These are for irrigation, reclaimed water and “slurry” lines.
  • Pink: Pink lines are used for temporary survey markings and unidentified lines. If you see a pink line when you dig, keep in mind that it could be dangerous.
  • White: Finally, white lines are for proposed excavation limits.

Call before you dig

Even tiny projects like installing a new mailbox can accidentally damage underground utilities. Calling your utility companies before you start digging is important, as they’ll have information about where exactly your underground utilities are buried.

In many areas, you might be legally required to call your utility provider before starting to dig. Make sure you know your obligations so you don’t run into any fines, fees or other legal actions. In most parts of the United States, dialing 811 is all you need to do to find out where your lines are buried.

The most important part of underground drilling is working with a reputable contractor who knows how to work around underground utility lines in Roseville, CA. Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. can help. We’re licensed and experienced in underground directional drilling, as well as trenching. We know how important it is to keep from hitting underground lines—and how to find them—so call us today to learn more about our services.

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