The 811 on starting a construction project.

When you’re going to start digging up a new construction project, it’s time to call 811.

USA North 811 is a damage prevention service for underground public utilities. You mark out the area you’re going to be working in with white brackets, like the picture below. I like to delineate where I’m working with brackets, arrows, length of the work area, and my initials. The GC stands for Gabbert Construction, or General Contractor, or both!

Then you call 811 and start your ticket. The ticket is basically a notice that gets sent out to any public utility that might have underground lines on the property you’re working on. These utilities are given two days to respond. The image below is the result of their response.

The white marking is me, telling the utilities where we’re working. The red is PGE electricity, yellow is PGE gas, orange is cable TV and the blue is San Joaquin County. Probably storm drains, or water. The only thing we has underground here was PGE electric, and they marked it out like this:

So now I know that there’s a main electric line here. Something I really don’t want to mess with! You hit one of these, and the fines and fees can add up.

Regardless, I’m safe to dig on this one, and we’re going to be starting a new project very soon!

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