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. However, a long time ago, it was difficult to identify these utility lines and so when people try to dig there were many risks involved. There is reduced risks today because of new methods of identifying utility lines although not a complete reduction. 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. Before digging through a certain piece of land, the OSHA requires that the underground utilities be located. Otherwise it can be something disastrous. The worst thing that can happen if lines are not identified is that fatal injuries can happen. It can also interrupt services in your area where the line is located. People can call 811 to prevent these incidents, before they proceed with digging their property. When the number is called, you can let the utility companies come out and mark their respective lines.

Marking lines may lessen the risks but there are time when accidents still happen. The reality is that there is an incident almost every 6 minutes where utility line are struck. When this happens, it affects traffic lights, wastewater pipes, telecommunication lines and more. This is then something that affects public health and safety.

With the use of GPR or Ground Penetrating Radar, companies can locate utility lines. When locating utility lines underground, this machine makes it easy to do so. Companies can locate their utility lines if any property owner calls 811.

There are certain colors that mark different utility lines for easy identification. The colors below indicate the kind of utility uses it.

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.

If you see red lines, then you can be sure that these are electric power lines, cable, conduit, and lighting cables. This color is appropriate for electrical works since it is associated with fire and danger.

Lines for gas, oil, steam, petroleum, and gaseous materials use the color yellow. 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. Lines for potable water use blue lines. Purple lines are used for reclaimed water, irrigation, and slurry lines. If you see the color green, then it indicates sewer and drain lines. A project can be derailed for a long time when these utility lines are hit.

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