call 811 before you dig
What is 811?
811 is the national call-before-you-dig phone number. Anyone who plans to dig should call 811 or go to their state 811 center’s website before digging to request that the approximate location of buried utilities be marked with paint or flags so that you don’t unintentionally dig into an underground utility line.
When do I call 811?
You should call 811 or use Iowa's 811 center website a few business days before you begin any digging, including common projects like planting trees and shrubs or installing fences and mailboxes. The specific amount of advance notice that you are required to provide varies by type of project.
What info do I need before calling 811?
You will need to know the address of where you plan to dig, including the county and nearest cross street, as well as the type of project you’re completing and the exact area on the property where you’re planning to dig. Whether you call 811 or make your request online, you’ll need the same info.
After I call 811, what do I do?
You need to wait a few days to allow utilities to respond to your request and ensure that all utilities have indeed responded to your request before breaking ground. Once all utilities have marked their buried lines, you should dig carefully around any utility marks and consider relocating projects that are close to buried utilities.