Make the call: Dial 811 before you dig

In your preparations for summer yard work and projects, be sure to include a call to 811 for anything that requires you to break ground.

The Common Ground Alliance, an association of underground utility groups and organizations, estimates that 42% of homeowners who plan to dig this year will not first call 811, putting them at increased risk of hitting underground utility lines, which can cause service interruptions, heavy fines, expensive repairs, bodily injury and even death.

An 811 call is not intended just for construction and other heavy work. Homeowners should make an inquiry even if it is simple gardening or landscaping.

Call at least three business days before you begin any project that includes digging of any extent or depth. Professional utility locators will use flags and paint to mark the locations of underground electric, gas, cable, phone and other lines within the designated area.

Colorado 811, the non-profit tasked with coordinating the state’s one-call utility location system, also offers an online option, which can be accessed via

IREA and other utilities pay for the services provided by Colorado 811, making the locating services free to customers who call 811.

Know what’s below. Call before you dig.