Call Before You Dig

Call Before You Dig

Call 811

Before doing any digging in your yard or at a construction site, you must first call Virginia 811 to receive the necessary underground utility clearances.

The law requires that you contact Virginia 811 at least three working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before beginning any digging project. Upon calling Virginia 811 to request a clearance or submitting a ticket online, you will be given a ticket number — keep this number handy for later reference. After the request has been processed, users will be notified by Virginia 811 confirming that their ticket has been processed. 

Your site will normally be cleared for digging within the three working days time period given to utilities to mark underground lines. Utilities can request an extension for marking their lines, in which case you must wait another 24 hours and then call again to check on the status or check online. After a total of three business days, and if there is no evidence of unmarked utilities, you may begin digging.

There is often confusion as to who actually marks the utility lines. Virginia 811 does not do any marking; it only serves as the coordinating center. Each individual utility (gas, electric, phone, cable) is responsible for doing their own locating and marking of underground lines on your property.

In order to avoid injury, damage or a monetary fine, always remember to call before you dig.

Call 811 For Miss Utility
In May 2007, Miss Utility of Virginia became part of the new national Call Before You Dig system. Miss Utility is now reachable at 811. The existing Virginia Miss Utility number, 1-800-552-7001, which was established in 1976, continues to work. However, the 811 number is easier to remember and Virginia residents should call 811. 811 is the FCC-designated national number created to eliminate the confusion of multiple “Call Before You Dig” numbers across the country. When a consumer calls 811 from anywhere in the country, the call is routed to a local call center. A representative will ask for the location of the digging job and then route the call to affected utility companies, such as NOVEC. The local utility companies will send a professional locator to mark the lines within a few days. Once the underground lines have been marked, consumers will know the approximate location of utility lines and can dig safely.

Find more information on the Virginia 811 website and the National 811 website.

NOVEC also provides customers with guidelines for homeowners as they prepare to build decks or additions. Please view the Building Decks & Additions brochure before beginning your home construction project.

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