6 Steps to Safe Digging

Are you planning a home improvement project? If you’re planning to dig, you must submit a ticket with Sunshine 811 to avoid hitting buried facilities. Follow the six steps below to ensure the safety of you, your neighbors and the underground facilities on your property. If you have any questions, please contact us. If you are hiring someone to dig, they are responsible for following these 6 steps including contacting 811 for a locate ticket.

Step One: Plan Your Project

Before contacting Sunshine 811, gather specific information about your digging project such as the street address, type of project, timeline of the project and more. Please view the full list of details you’ll need before submitting a ticket.

Step Two: Contact Sunshine 811

Once you have all project information on hand, it’s time to contact Sunshine 811 online or by phone at 811. Contacting 811 is free and easy. You will receive a ticket number and a list of member utility companies that will be notified of your planned digging project. Sunshine 811’s member utility companies do not locate and mark private facilities on your property. Click here for more information on private facilities.

Step Three: Wait the Required Time

After you submit a ticket, member utility operators have 2 full business days to mark the approximate location of underground facilities on your property. Legal holidays and weekends do not count toward those two days. Learn more about when you can begin your project.

Sun811_2 Day.png

Step Four: Confirm Utility Responses

Follow the progress of each member utility by viewing the positive response codes they use to explain your dig site. To do that, watch this video.


Step Five: Confirm the Marks

Once the two full business days have passed, you must confirm that all member utility companies have responded to your ticket. Compare the various colors of the marks and flags on your property to the list of member utility companies listed on your ticket, using Positive Response.

  • If the marks do not match the response codes, contact the appropriate member utility using the information on the ticket.

  • If there any of the members did not respond, contact that member using the the information on the ticket.

Whatever it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference.

Step Six: Dig with Care

Now that the buried facilities on your property have been marked or cleared, it’s time to start digging! According to Florida law, there is a tolerance zone that runs 24 inches from each facility’s outside edges. If you’re digging within the tolerance zone, use increased precaution to protect the underground facilities. Learn more by viewing the Florida Dig Law. Happy digging!