Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. If you plan to disturb the earth with powered equipment, PA Act 287, as amended, obligates you to notify the utility companies of your intent to dig.

A homeowner working on their own residential property.
Or, an excavator hired by the homeowner to work on their residental property.

No. The excavator will not be protected, should something happen while digging, by the notification if the homeowner notifies on their behalf.

If you are hiring a contractor to do the work for you, ask to see their PA One Call "Serial Number" before the work begins. This eleven digit number is proof that the excavator has dialed 8-1-1 in advance of starting to work for you. No serial number means the excavator may not have fulfilled their obligations under PA Act 287, as amended. This may also mean the contractor may not be doing everything they can to help keep you and your neighborhood safe. 

The easiest way to contact 811 is online. Click on the request a locate icon to answer a few questions about your excavation project.

You may also call 811. The telephone number is free and our service is no cost for homeowners who are digging on their own residential property. Our Customer Service Representatives are available every day of the year to record the who, what, where, when, and how of your project and forward it to utility companies that serve your neighborhood. 

You are required to mark your proposed excavation site in white unless you give exact site information. Marking the site simply means you are guiding the person who is locating the underground lines on your residential property to where you plan to dig. 

You may mark in white with chalk, paint or stakes.

A business day is any day except Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday prescribed by statute in the law. A business day begins at 12:00:00 am and end at 11:59:59 pm.

If you want to work on the weekend, you should contact 811 on Monday or Tuesday to allow for the underground lines to be marked.

State holidays are New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

It does not matter how deep you are digging or where you are digging within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are required to contact 811 anytime you intend to dig.