811 “Call Before You Dig”

There are nearly 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the United States that include gas, water, sewer, cable TV, high-speed Internet, landline telephone and electric.
If you are planning a job that requires digging, even if you plan to hire a professional, a call to 811 is required before you begin working. 811 is a free, FCC-designated national one-call number that connects a caller from anywhere in the country to the appropriate local call center, which, in the District, is Miss Utility.
Unintentionally striking a line can result in inconvenient outages for entire neighborhoods, harm to yourself or your neighbors, and costly repairs.

How it works
  • Property owners place one free call to 811 / Miss Utility at least two working days prior to the start of any digging project.
  • A representative from Miss Utility will ask for the location and description of your digging project.
  • Miss Utility will then alert the affected underground facility owners to send professional locators to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines with paint or flags.
  • Once accurately marked, you can begin your project and carefully dig around the marked areas. 
Pepco and Washington Gas each provide additional information about 811.
Remember: Keep your project safe for you and your community. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811.
Events / Recognition
Each of these events serve as a reminder and encouragement to practice safe digging for any project.
April: Safe Digging Month
August 11: 811 Day / National Safe Digging Day