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Stay Safe When Digging

Homeowner must contact Dig Safe before beginning digging projects
person digging with shovel
Hampton, NH

Unitil, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, is reminding customers and contractors that August 11 is National 811 Safe Digging Day, an annual designation to increase awareness to contact Dig Safe before starting any digging or excavating projects. 

State law requires even homeowners to have underground utilities marked before digging in their yard, regardless of the size or scope of work. The service is free and requests for a Dig Safe ticket can be done online at or by calling 811.

“The utility companies will have representatives come out and mark underground electric wires and natural gas pipes. It is a very important step prior to beginning any digging project. It makes it much safer for the homeowner, contractors and neighbors,” said Unitil External Affairs Manager Alec O’Meara.  

Once the utilities are marked, homeowners will see different color flags on the ground. Red flags are for electric power lines, cables and conduit. Yellow is for natural gas, oil or gaseous materials. Orange is for communication lines such as cable TV, alarm or signal lines. Blue is for water and irrigation. Green is for sewers and drain lines.

According to Dig Safe, even simple, do-it-yourself projects such as planting trees, installing mailboxes or posts for a fence, require a call so utilities can be marked. The lone exception is for help identifying municipal services, such as water and sewer lines. In these cases, homeowners and contractors must contact a town or city directly for location assistance.

“Homeowners who have not called have unfortunately hit wires and natural gas lines while doing the most basic projects. This can cause utility service disruption to entire neighborhoods, harm to themselves or others, as well as fines and repair costs,” Lisa Powers, Dig Safe public relations director, said. “I can’t overstate the importance of submitting a Dig Safe ticket online before beginning any project for homeowners and businesses alike.” 


About Unitil

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering electricity and natural gas in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 108,500 electric customers and 88,400 natural gas customers.


Media Contact

Alec O'Meara
Director, External Affairs