For digging projects large and small, Florida law states that property owners and excavators MUST call 811 or go to sunshine811.com at least two full business days prior to digging to get underground utility lines marked at the dig site. Planning to dig on Saturday? Call 811 on Wednesday. Unsure who should make the call? The person or company doing the digging is responsible for calling 811.
Here's the step-by-step process of exactly how it works.
Wonder what all the flags and markings mean? View the color code for marking underground utility lines established by the American Public Works Association.
Failure to call 811 before digging results in Floridians unintentionally hitting underground utility lines, which can lead to injury, penalties, repair costs, and inconvenient utility service interruptions.
In July 2020, revised law went into effect strengthening "Call 811 before you dig" enforcement and accountability across the state. Find the complete legislation here.
Under this revised legislation, residents and excavators could see increased penalties for damaged underground utilities and violations of the law. Changes in the law include:
- Civil penalty has increased up to $2,500 for violations that involve hazardous material pipelines.
- Criminal penalties for knowingly and willfully removing or damaging a permanent marker.
- New violation for failure to use increased caution when working within a tolerance zone. If digging near a natural gas line marker, excavators must spot dig the gas line to determine the exact location and depth of the pipe. The tolerance zone is defined as 2’ from either side of the pipe.
In addition to the increased penalties, the bill also expands enforcement authority to the state fire marshal and local fire chiefs, and it calls for fines to fund firefighter equipment and damage-prevention education.
If your company offers excavation services, schedule FREE on-site excavation safety training by emailing us at email@example.com.