Information For Homeowners:

If you’re planning to dig or demolish, the law requires that you contact Miss Utility before you begin your project in order to have your underground utility lines marked. Miss Utility is the official 811 notification center for both Western Shore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. and helps to keep our communities safe and connected by preventing damages to the vital underground utilities we rely on every day.

Homeowners can submit tickets at or they can call 811, the National Call Before You Dig Number, to request that their lines be marked. Contacting Miss Utility is FREE and simple.

Five Steps to Safe Digging:

It’s important to contact Miss Utility for any digging or demolition project, regardless of the size and scope. Even smaller projects like planting a garden, installing a mailbox, or driving a stake into the ground, require Miss Utility to be contacted. Failure to contact Miss Utility prior to digging or demolition can result in damages, service disruptions, costly repairs, injury and even death.

Important note: If you are hiring a contractor, landscaper or similar ‘point and pay’ service provider to do work for you, on your property, the hired individual/company is responsible, by law, for following the 5 steps below.  This includes contacting Miss Utility for a locate ticket.

Step One: Plan Your Project

Prior to contacting Miss Utility, know the specific details of your planned project, including the street address, reason for digging, accurate marking instructions and more. To streamline the process, you can outline your intended dig site with white flags or paint.  Called ‘white lining,’ this process can save time and prevent unnecessary utility markings.

Step Two: Contact Miss Utility/811

Once your project is planned, you can submit your locate request using Miss Utility’s homeowner ticketing platform called ITIC Lite or you can contact us by dialing 811.  After you have submitted your ticket, you will receive a ticket number and a list of utility owner members that have been notified of your planned digging or demolition project. Please note that Miss Utility’s member utility companies do not locate or mark private facilities on your property.

Step Three: Wait for your Ticket to be statused and your Lines to Be Marked

Once you have submitted your locate request and received your ticket number, utility owner members need time to respond to your ticket. The laws that govern how long they have to do that vary by state but can be found in the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.

Step Four: Confirm the Marks

Go online to Miss Utility’s Search and Status platform to check the status of your ticket and confirm that all utilities have been marked. The utility owner members or their contract locators will mark the ground with either flags or paint.  These marks indicate the approximate location of the underground facility. The colors below are industry standard, and each color identifies a specific type of utility.

White: Proposed Excavation
Pink: Temporary Survey Markings
Red: Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit and Lighting Cables
Yellow: Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum, or Gaseous Materials
Orange: Communication, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit
Blue: Potable Water
Purple: Reclaimed Water, Irrigation and Slurry Lines
Green: Sewers and Drain Lines

Step Five: Dig With Care

Now that your dig site’s utilities have been statused and marked, it’s time to get started! Be on the lookout for unmarked utilities and file a discrepancy if you find one.  Never dig on top of the marks and always dig with care!  Remember to always contact 811 for all of your digging and demolition projects.

  • A ticket in Maryland is valid for 12 business days and starts on the selected start date.
  • A ticket in D.C. is valid for 15 business days from the submission date.
  • A ticket in Delaware does not expire as long as the work starts within ten (10) days, is continuous, scope is the same and the marks are visible.

Do not use mechanized/electric/power equipment within:

  • Maryland Excavation: 18 inches of the exposed facility.
  • District of Columbia Excavation: 18 inches of the exposed facility.
  • Delaware Excavation: 24 inches of the exposed facility.

FAQ Section