Dial Before You Dig

Know What's Below

Hitting a buried utility cable may cause property damage, injury or death. Sometimes these lines are buried at a shallow depth. What’s more, the law requires anyone planning to do any type of digging to have the utility lines at the site marked before beginning a job.

Before You Dig Checklist

Follow these four steps to dig safely.

Contact MISS DIG
Dial 811 or go to MISS DIG website. It's fast, it's free and it's the law. Contact MISS DIG before every job that involves excavating or hand digging is your first step toward finishing the job safely!


Wait Until Flags Are Placed
Wait at least three business days after contacting MISS DIG for local utilities to locate and place flags over their underground lines.


Expose Utility Lines by Hand Digging
Do not make assumptions about the depth and location of utility lines. Dig by hand to expose the lines before using power equipment. Be sure to dig carefully. A sharp shovel can do a lot of unintentional damage.


Respect the flags
Leave the flags in place until your underground work is complete. You must begin digging within 14 days of the start date listed on the ticket. Make sure children and neighbors know not to remove the flags until the work is done. Avoid driving or parking heavy vehicles or storing construction materials over utility lines when possible.

Learn more about digging safely with the Excavation Guide in English or Espanol.

Michigan Utility Flag Color Codes


Gas, oil, steam or petroleum

Communication systems

Potable water

Reclaimed water irrigation

Sewer and drain lines

Proposed excavation

Temporary surveying

Keep Flags From Start to Finish

Once you request MISS DIG service by dialing 811 or visiting missdig811.org, be sure not to begin your project until the utility flags have been planted. Equally important, leave the flags in place until your underground work is complete.