The national call before you dig number. Since calls made to 811 are automatically routed to the nearest one call center, homeowners can also call 811 to request that their lines be marked. Visit Call811.com for more information.


Code Rule 753

Enforced by the Public Service Commission, New York State Code Rule 753 (also referred to as Part 753, Industrial Code 53 or Code 53) addresses the protection of underground facilities. The code includes the following major components:

  1. All owners of underground facilities must be a member of one of the two one call centers in the state.
  2. All New York contractors excavating on commercial or residential property must notify their local one call center two working days prior to the project’s excavation date.

Code Rule 753 also includes detailed information on fines, the tolerance zone, personal property and line marking color codes. Professional excavators are expected to know and obey this code.

Color Codes

When utility company representatives mark a location, they use different colored flags and/or paint to identify the type of underground service. Click here to view a color code chart.

Damage Prevention

An initiative to prevent damage to underground utility lines or facilities caused by unsafe digging.

Damage Prevention Liaison

An individual charged with promoting safe digging throughout our region. New York 811 features two liaisons on staff. To learn more about requesting a free damage prevention seminar for your group or organization, click here.

New York 811

A nonprofit organization that acts as a communications link between utility companies and individuals planning any digging activity in the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. While New York 811 does not physically mark utility lines or underground facilities, we do relay digging and excavation requests to our extensive member network.

Locate Request

A request submitted by a homeowner, contractor or excavator to mark underground utility lines in the area they plan to dig.

Mark Out

The process of marking underground utility lines with paint or flags. The term “mark outs” is also used to refer to the actual paint lines or flags on a property (i.e. “There were three mark outs on the property.”)


By law, companies that own or operate underground utility lines must join one of the two one call centers in the state of New York. New York 811’s member network includes “participating members,” which are utility companies (e.g. water, sewer, telecommunications, natural gas), municipalities and others with a stake in protecting New York’s underground infrastructure. “Sustaining members” do not own underground facilities but have an interest in damage prevention. To view New York 811’s member list, click here.

One Call Center

Acts as a communications link between utility companies and individuals planning any digging activity. After receiving a locate request from a homeowner, contractor or excavator, call center operators notify affected utilities to visit the work site and mark the locations of buried utility lines with paint or flags. New York 811 is a one call center.


An official notification of your request that New York 811 sends to all member utilities with lines in your area.

Tolerance Zone

A buffer that extends approximately 24 inches from each side of the utility line markings. If you must perform any digging within this zone, use hand tools and exercise extreme caution.

Underground Facility

Many utility company facilities are located underground and out of sight. These facilities may include electric, natural gas, steam, telecommunications, water, sewer and oil lines. To avoid dangerous and costly damage to these lines, it’s important that you call New York 811 before planning any type of digging activity on your property.