Excavating without knowing the location of underground utilities can be extremely dangerous. Not only can you cause damage to the utility, but you can also injure or even kill someone working on or near the utility. It’s essential to know the underground utilities’ color codes to save the lives and cables while you’re digging. Scorpion Construction LLC will discuss the color codes used for underground utilities and how to excavate around them safely.
Managing Potential Risk in an Excavation Project
Did you know that in the United States, there are more than 20 million miles of underground utility lines? That’s a lot of buried infrastructure! And if you’re planning excavation work, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks involved. One of the most significant risks is damaging or disrupting an underground utility line. It can cause costly repairs, service disruptions, and even injuries or fatalities. That’s why it’s so important to call for a professional utility locator before beginning an excavation project. A professional locator will use special equipment to mark the approximate location of any underground utilities in the area.
If your project involves excavating, be sure to understand the color codes used to identify different types of underground utilities. It will help ensure that you safely excavate around them.
Different Color Codes for Underground Utilities
There are a few different color codes used for underground utilities. The most common one is the ANSI/NEMA Z535 standard, which uses different colors to represent different types of utilities. It’s important to know what each color means so that you can safely excavate around the utility. Following the color-coding system is essential once the utilities are known and marked. The most common color codes are listed below:
Red: Electric power lines, conduit, and lighting cables
Yellow: Gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or other flammable liquids
Orange: Communication lines or cable conduits
Blue: Potable water
Green: Sewers and drain lines
Purple: Reclaimed water, irrigation, and slurry lines
Pink: Temporary survey markings
Brown: Undetermined utilities
As you can see, there are a lot of potential risks involved in excavating without first calling for a professional utility locator.
Knowing the Depth of the Utilities
Another thing to keep in mind when excavating is the depth of the utility. Some utilities are shallow enough that you can dig by hand, while others may require heavy machinery. Also, check the depth of the utility before beginning any excavation work.
If you’re ever unsure about the depth or location, you can always call the utility company to help mark the lines for you. It is even more crucial if you plan to do any major excavation work.
Safety is always the top priority when working around underground utilities. If you take the time to survey the area properly and know where the utilities are located, you can help prevent accidents and costly damage to the utilities.
It is essential to know which colors represent which type of utility for safe excavating. Contact Scorpion Construction LLC serving Lakeland, FL, and get a free estimate if you need excavation services. We’ll ensure that your job is done safely and efficiently without damaging any underground utilities.