Street Works Manual

Most of the information provided on this page was obtained from New York 811’s website

Section 4.3 »

Chapter 4: Executing Work in the Street

4.2.1 New York 811, Inc.

New York 811 is a nonprofit organization that acts as a communications link between utility companies and individuals planning any digging activity in the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. New York State law (Article 36 of General Business Law and 16 NYCRR Part 753, AKA Industrial Code 53) requires excavators to contact New York 811, via 811, 800-272-4480 or the internet, within 2 to 10 working days before performing any digging or excavation work. New York 811 then relays digging and excavation requests to its member network of utility companies and underground facility owners, who are required to mark the location of their underground facilities within two working days. Excavators use those markings to help identify underground facility locations ”in order to promote public safety and to prevent damage to public and private property.” (16 NYCRR Part 753)

Tips for Excavators

Additional information can be obtained by contacting New York 811 at 800-272-4480, or

Required Information for Call

Marking Color Codes

When utility company representatives mark a location, they use colored flags and/or paint to identify the type of underground service:

Red Electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables
Yellow Gas, oil, steam, petroleum and gaseous materials
Orange Communications, alarm, signal lines, cables and conduit
Blue Potable water
Purple Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines
Green Sewers and drain lines
Pink Temporary survey markings
White Proposed excavation
Streets can hide a complex infrastructure of underground utilities. One call to New York 811 provides for where gas (yellow), electric (red) and phone (orange) are located.
It is essential to call New York 811 before digging anywhere, including sidewalks and soil. This New York 811 marking shows where a cable television line is located beneath the sidewalk.

Section 4.3 »