The Importance of Call 811 Before You Dig

We all know to “Call 811 before you dig”. There are many reminders out there to do so. This is an important step to take on almost any construction project.

At Bierschbach Equipment & Supply we sell the paint and supplies needed to create these marks, my goal is to help you use them correctly. I often see contractors buy marking paint and choose a color that they like, or that they feel is easier to see. While this may seem logical, it is important to follow the APWA Uniform Color Code.

This code is followed nationwide and makes it easy to identify potential hazards and locations of utilities. Using the wrong color paint can confuse things on a jobsite, especially on a site where there may be several different contractors all relying on these markings for different reasons.

I’d like to share a story that happened on a jobsite that I personally worked on. I was hired to install water and sewer service to new home that was under construction. The sewer line was “stubbed in” in this development (meaning that the service line from the main line was already run onto the lot) . At the time I arrived on the job the foundation was in and the framing work on the house had begun. The general contractor showed me the GREEN stake at the property line that was there to indicate the sewer stub in below. I dug for several hours and was not able to locate the sewer line, after getting an engineer and city officials involved, it was discovered that at some point the stake had been marked with the wrong color paint, it was actually a lot marker. The house was being constructed nearly 4’ onto the neighboring lot! Imagine the expense involved in correcting this mistake that could have been easily avoided if the correct color had been used.

Call 811