Underground utilities can easily be identified today. 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. In order to prevent harm, it is important to know or identify these utility lines if your need to dig the ground. The OSHA requires that utilities underground first be located before digging through a piece of land. Otherwise it can be something disastrous. The worst thing that can happen if lines are not identified is that fatal injuries can happen. Services in the area where the lines are located can experience 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.
Sometimes, even if the lines are marked accidents still happen. It is said that every 6 minutes, there is a utility line that is struck. 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.
GPR or Ground Penetrating Radar is used by companies to locate their utility lines. 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. Here are the colors used for different utilities.
If you see white lines, then these are proposed excavation sites. It locates areas that will be excavated in the near future.
Temporary survey markings use pink lines. 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. The color red is associated with fire and danger so it is just appropriate to use it for electrical works.
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. Lines for potable water use blue lines. If you see purple lines, that this is for reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines. Sewer and drain lines use the color green. Hitting this line can truly derail any project for a long period of time.