Call 811 Before You Dig!

Building a house? Planting a rose bush? Digging a hole to beat Nicolas Cage in finding the third National Treasure stockpile? Before you do any of these things, it’s important to call 811.

When you call or log an 811 ticket on the 811 website, it triggers a multitude of utilities to investigate your request and Charlotte Water is one of them. Once a request is received, a Locates Technician is dispatched to the site and marks the area where the water line is underground.

Jorge Arango, Locates Supervisor, responding to an 811 call and marking an area with blue paint to signal water lines underground.

The Locates group has their hands full, as they respond to all calls whether it’s a small job or a large construction project. In fact, it is reported that this team responds to a minimum of over 1,000 requests every month alone. On top of that, not all jobs are straightforward. Some pipe is laid in unusual ways to avoid features such as storm drains or manholes. While these situations are quickly resolved by an experienced technician, it does still take time to recognize variances in surroundings and mark them appropriately.

Jorge Arango, Locates Supervisor, shared with me that technicians have to learn to trust their equipment rather than assume where they anticipate the water pipes to be located underground. Fortunately, the team has access to some pretty cool tools! Featured in the picture below is a GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) tool to assist in locating difficult water pipes and mains.

Without calling 811 first, you risk damaging water, sewer, gas, electric, or any other utility line that runs underground. There are many teams just like the Charlotte Water team that will respond to your call for free to mark the area first before you dig. By being mindful, you save yourself and your neighbors a lot of headaches in the event you strike a line.

If you’d like to submit a request, visit or call 811!