Dont Let The Lights Go Out

Don't stay in the dark – call 811 before you dig to find out where buried utility lines are. It'll keep the lights on.

A buried utility line is damaged every six minutes because someone decided to dig without making a free call to 811 to learn the approximate location of buried utility lines. To help you learn more about Sunshine 811, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions, and our answers, below.

  • Q. Why should I make a free call to Sunshine 811 at 811 before I dig?
    • A. Knowing the approximate location of buried utilities before digging (regardless of depth) helps protect you from damaging important gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines. Damaging these lines can lead to inconvenient service outages, repair costs and in some situations, injuries. A buried utility line is damaged every six minutes in the United States because someone didn’t make a free call to 811 before digging. Sunshine 811 wants to make sure you don’t become part of this statistic.

      * NOTE: Utility companies do not locate private utilities. These include water and sewer lines from the meter to the house and lines running from the home to an outside building.
  • Q. How much notice do I need to give before I plan to dig?
    • A. In Florida you need to provide at least two full business days of notice. So, if you plan to dig on the weekend, you’ll want to contact Sunshine 811 on the previous Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • Q. What happens when I call?
    • A. A Sunshine 811 customer service representative will ask you a series of questions, including your address, closest cross street, the type of project planned and the area on your property where the digging will occur.
  • Q. What happens after I call?
    • A. These are the steps after you call 811:

      • 1) You will receive an email from Sunshine 811 that includes:
        • a. Your ticket number
        • b. A list of the utility companies that will receive notification of your plans
        • c. The work start date and due date
        • d. The ticket's expiration date
      • 2) Wait for utility companies to respond and either mark their lines with paint or flags, or determine that your proposed dig site is not near their buried facilities.
      • 3) Confirm that all lines have been marked or declared clear by using the Positive Response System. The Positive Response System (PRS) is a way for you to track the progress of utility members and locators responding to your ticket. Sometimes no one will ever show up at your house because the utility has cleared or indicated no conflict with your project. By checking PRS, you save yourself a lot of frustration waiting for marks that are not going to appear.
      • 4) Avoid digging near the paint marks entirely if possible. If that is not possible, dig carefully around the marks.
  • Q. What types of projects require a call to Sunshine 811 at 811 before they can begin?
    • A. Whether you’re landscaping, installing a mailbox or basketball goal, or building a deck, you should only start the project after making a free call to Sunshine 811 at 811. Simply put, it’s always the safest decision to call Sunshine 811 at 811 before any digging.
  • Q. Can I request a Sunshine 811 ticket online?

Have other questions that aren’t listed here? Click here to see an additional list.