Call 811 Before You Dig

Find out what's below before you dig. Gas pipelines and electric lines can be located anywhere — under streets, sidewalks or even your yard. If you’re looking to start a project like planting some trees or putting in that new mailbox or fence, it’s important to know if there are any such lines that run underground in the area you are planning to dig. Doing so will help prevent damage, service interruption or worse. 

811 Dig

Protect Your Safety and Avoid Costly Repairs

Something as simple as a slight gouge, scrape or dent to a gas pipeline could lead to a leak. What’s more, a damaged gas pipeline or electric line can put the safety of your community at risk and could result in serious injury, heavy fees and project delays. To prevent damage, always call before you dig. You can either call 811, a national toll-free phone number, or visit the website DigAlert to create a ticket. 

After calling 811 or submitting a ticket on DigAlert.org, SDG&E’s locators will come to your excavation site after the request has been processed. They will provide clear markings where their gas pipelines or electric lines are located and indicate pipe material and diameter. It’s simple, safe, fast and free.

What to do if you're planning to dig

  1. Mark out the area you’re planning to excavate with white paint, flags or other suitable markings.
  2. Call 811 or submit a location request at DigAlert at least two working days in advance.

  3. Wait for SDG&E’s locators to come out and mark the gas pipelines and electric lines. Avoid digging until the locators inform you that it’s safe to do so.

  4. Once the buried lines have been marked — and before using power excavation equipment in the area — make sure to use hand tools only and stay within 24 inches of the lines to expose their exact locations and prevent damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Call 811 is the national call-before-you-dig toll-free phone number. Individuals can call from anywhere in the U.S. and be automatically connected to a representative from their state’s 811 center which in our case in Southern California is DigAlert. The representative will create a DigAlert ticket and inform local utilities of your plan to dig.

DigAlert is southern California’s resource for safe excavation. Individuals planning any type of digging can request a ticket directly on DigAlert’s website. DigAlert will then coordinate with local utilities such as SDG&E to mark our buried gas pipelines or electric lines.

Yes. DigAlert is funded by utility members and is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation. Whoever wants to dig and would like to locate unmarked, buried gas and electric lines can do so free of charge by submitting a ticket on the DigAlert website.  

After submitting a ticket with DigAlert it usually takes a few business days for utilities to respond to your request. However, you could submit a ticket on the DigAlert website up to two working days before you dig and still have a SDG&E locator come out and mark buried gas and electric lines.   

DigAlert requires individuals to start digging within 14 days to get a ticket number because it only handles planned excavations. DigAlert does not process requests for pre-planning jobs or design stage planning.

According to California State Law, contacting DigAlert is necessary for those who plan to do any sort of excavation, whether big or small.

Not contacting DigAlert before excavating could result in serious consequences such as damage to a buried gas pipeline or electric line, heavy fines of up to $50,000, project delays and serious bodily harm.

DigAlert covers up to nine Southern California Counties, including: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Riverside and Ventura.

The law requires a contractor to call 811 before they start a project that requires digging. However, even if you’ve hired a contractor, make sure you verify with the contractor that they will be calling 811 to have gas and electric lines marked. If for whatever reason they hadn’t planned to, you could make the call.

If you believe the damage is life-threatening, clear the area immediately and call 911, as well as SDG&E. If you don’t believe it is life-threatening, make sure you still report the damage to SDG&E by calling 1-800-411-7343.

It’s important to note that SDG&E will only mark the location of buried utility-owned gas pipelines and electric lines, free of charge. SDG&E does not mark customer-owned natural gas or electric lines, which typically run from the meter to the customer's equipment and/or appliance.

To have customer-owned lines located and marked before a project, SDG&E advises customers to contact a qualified locating professional. Even if you’ve hired a contractor, make sure the contractor calls 811 to have lines marked.

Notify Us

Ready to make an appointment? Call 811 or request a ticket online at digalert.org today. And if you damaged a gas pipeline or electric line, call 1-800-411-7343 immediately. No damage is too small to report.