4.2.1 New York 811, Inc.

New York 811 is 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. New York State law (Article 36 of General Business Law and 16 NYCRR Part 753, AKA Industrial Code 53) requires excavators to contact New York 811, via 811, 800-272-4480 or the internet, within 2 to 10 working days before performing any digging or excavation work. New York 811 then relays digging and excavation requests to its member network of utility companies and underground facility owners, who are required to mark the location of their underground facilities within two working days. Excavators use those markings to help identify underground facility locations ”in order to promote public safety and to prevent damage to public and private property.” (16 NYCRR Part 753)

Tips for Excavators

  • Call before you dig. 811 or 800-272-4480.
  • Wait the required time.
  • Confirm utility response.
  • Respect the marks.
  • Dig with care.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting New York 811 at 800-272-4480, or visiting the New York 811 Website 

Required Information for Call

  • Name of caller
  • Name, address and phone number of excavator
  • Excavator’s field phone number
  • Name of field contact person
  • Address/location of work area
  • Start date and time
  • Means of digging and excavation
  • Brief description of the planned digging and excavation

Marking Color Codes

When utility company representatives mark a location, they use colored flags and/or paint to identify the type of underground service:

  Red Electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables
  Yellow Gas, oil, steam, petroleum and gaseous materials
  Orange Communications, alarm, signal lines, cables and conduit
  Blue Potable water
  Purple Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines
  Green Sewers and drain lines
  Pink Temporary survey markings
  White Proposed excavation


Streets can hide a complex infrastructure of underground utilities. One call to New York 811 provides for where gas (yellow), electric (red) and phone (orange) are located.


It is essential to call New York 811 before digging anywhere, including sidewalks and soil. This New York 811 marking shows where a cable television line is located beneath the sidewalk.