It’s finally summer in Minnesota! People are out enjoying the weather and may even be getting some yard projects done. Whether you’re planting a tree or building a deck, always call 811 before you dig — it’s the law. Underground utility lines can only be inches below the surface and be ruptured with a shovel or other household tools. Hitting a line could cause an outage, property damage or the worst-case scenario — an explosion.


To dig safely — and legally in Minnesota — you need to do three things:

  • Call 811 at least two business days before you dig.
  • Mark your yard (in white) so the locator knows where you’re digging and can mark the utilities in your yard appropriately.
  • Respect the locate marks and hand-dig carefully around them.
  • Utility locators follow the uniform color codes mandated by the American Public Works Association (APWA) for locate marks.
White label: proposed construction Green label: sewers & drain lines Orange label: telephone & cable TV Blue label: water Yellow label: gas, oil, steam Pink label: temporary survey markings Red label: electric Purple label: reclaimed water