From time to time I have projects that require digging near the building (installation of fiber circuit, or installation of a backup generator). One of the most important things that needs to be done before digging is to have the utilities located. Utilities include: water, sewer, run-off water, power, natural gas, and phone service. This is a simple procedure to get done. In most states you can call 811 and get the services located. If you dig and “break something” without having the utilities located, you can be liable for the cost of getting the services repaired, and any damage done from not getting the utilities located.
When the utilities are located, they are marked with either flags or by paint. Here is just a quick reference of what those colors mean.
Red — Electrical. With multi-phase service (like 3 wire service), each wire is specifically located. This is to allow separation between the lines.
Blue — Potable (drinking) water. I was going to use the term domestic water, but, I didn’t want to lead you to believe that there was an imported water color that I just didn’t know. Fire hydrants are also going to be marked this way since it uses potable water.
Green — Can be either sewer or run-off water. The big thing with this is that it is not potable water.
Yellow — Natural gas. In NC, PSNC does their own location of facilities.
Orange — Telecommunications. This includes fiber and copper lines.