Importance of Miss Utility

Customer’s often wonder what the different color spray painted marks are in their yard shortly before we begin any landscaping project. In some cases, they might be lines that our designers spray to layout patios or plant bed edges but in most cases, they are marks from Miss Utility. Before Garner Exteriors starts any job that requires any type of digging or dirt work, we always call a Miss Utility in. The process to do this requires us to gather certain information such as addresses, intersecting streets, type of working being completed, what portion of the site needs to be marked and more. Once a ticket is submitted, it takes up to 48 hours for the locator to get to a site and complete the marking.

When Miss Utility comes out, they mark any and all underground utilities in a customer’s yard from electric to cable to gas and more. They use different colors to represent different utilities. See the below chart for reference. The most important thing to remember about Miss Utility is that they do not mark any private utilities such as invisible dog fences. In these special instances, Garner Exteriors has the necessary equipment to mark those private utilities but we rely on the homeowner to let us know that they have them.

APWA UNIFORM COLOR CODE
WHITE – Proposed Excavation
PMS 806˜ PINK – Temporary Survey Markings
PMS 1795˜ RED – Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit and Lighting Cables
PMS 108 YELLOW – Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum or Gaseous Materials
PMS 144˜ ORANGE Communication, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cables or Conduit
13.5 parts process, 2.5 parts reflex BLUE – Potable Water
PMS 253 PURPLE – Reclaimed Water, Irrigation and Slurry Lines
PMS 3415 GREEN – Sewers and Drain Lines

People often wonder why calling in a Miss Utility is so important. There are many reasons but the first and most important reason is safety for our team and for the homeowner. Also, we find it helpful in designing landscapes because we can adjust our designs in a way that doesn’t interfere with the existing infrastructure of the yard. We understand that the marks might not be the prettiest sight to see but they will fade after a few weeks and they prevent a lot of unnecessary damage. So, “before you dig every dig…Miss Utility.”

Sources: http://www.missutility.net/maryland/