Call Before Digging

Tennessee One-Call

Tennessee One-Call is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a communications link between utility companies and individuals who plan to dig or excavate anywhere in the State of Tennessee.

Why should I call 811?

A single telephone call to Tennessee One-Call allows a customer who plans to dig to receive the approximate location of underground utility lines to ensure safety while excavating. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before each digging project helps prevent injury, expense, and penalties. The depth of utility lines may vary and multiple utility lines from different providers may exist in a single area. Simple digging jobs can damage utility lines and disrupt vital services to an entire neighborhood, harm those who dig, and result in expensive fines and repair costs.

Who should call 811?

Regardless of whether you are a contractor, a homeowner, or a "weekend warrior," you should always call 811 prior to digging. From planting a tree or shrub to building a deck - if the job requires digging, you should call before you dig.

Am I required to call?

Yes, Tennessee state law requires anyone who plans to dig, move earth, excavate, or perform any other type of activity that could damage underground utility lines to notify the utility companies in that area. Tennessee One-Call provides an easy way to comply with state law. The full text of the law is available here.

How far in advance should I call?

Excluding weekends and holidays, please provide a 72 hour (3 day) advance notice of your intent to dig. After reporting your intent to dig, you will receive a locate ticket valid for 15 calendar days from the start date indicated on the ticket, after which it expires. If you wish to continue working, you must call in at least 3 days prior to the expiration date to renew your ticket.

Can I submit requests online?

Yes, Tennessee One-Call provides an online ticket submission. Tickets submitted prior to 1:00pm CST are entered before 3:00pm CST on the same day. Tickets received after 1:00pm CST are not guaranteed entry until the following business day. Online requests can be submitted at the Tennessee One-Call Ticket site.

Are the colors of the paint and flags left by the locators meaningful?

Yes, each color indicates a universal color to what is buried below the ground.

  • Red - Electric
  • Orange - Communicators, Telephone, or Cable TV
  • Blue - Potable Water
  • Green - Sewer / Drainage
  • Yellow - Gas / Petroleum Pipe Line
  • Purple - Reclaimed Water
  • White - Premark site of intended excavation

What is the difference between 811 and Tennessee One-Call?

Tennessee One-Call is a nonprofit business who works as an information exchange liaison between diggers and utility companies. In 2005, the FCC made 811 the universal telephone number for the 71 regional services, including Tennessee One-Call, that coordinate location services for underground utilities. The new telephone number provides an easy to remember, location-independent telephone number to report upcoming digging activities. Regardless of whether you report your digging through the toll-free number or 811, know that your call is routed by Tennessee One-Call to the appropriate utility companies.