Excavators - Know what's below

Prior to any excavation, demolition or digging, a free contact to 811 will start the notification process of locating and marking underground utility lines.

You are required by law to contact 811 (by phone when you dial 8-1-1) at least two full business days before start your project. Once underground utilities are located and marked, the locates are valid for twenty-one days from the date of the initial request.

If you are working in the KU service area

Kentucky Utilities is a member utility in certain parts of its service territory. In areas where KU is not a member utility of the 811 service, customers need to contact KU directly to request an underground electric line locate service. KU will perform this service at no additional charge.

If you are in one of the counties below, call 8-1-1 or visit Kentucky811.org.


If you are in a county not listed above, contact both KU and Kentucky 811.

  • Contact KU by calling 1-800-981-0600 and press 2-3-3 when the recording starts.
  • Contact Kentucky 811 by calling 8-1-1 or visiting Kentucky811.org

Contact us for more information to help ensure you’re abiding by the law as it pertains to safe digging.

Know the ground rules. Remember 811 before you dig.

Become an e-SMART worker.

Learn the steps to take to ensure you and everyone else remains safe around natural gas and electricity. Our e-SMART workers play an integral role in helping ensure LG&E customers continue to receive the reliable service they deserve.

Additional Resources

Proper procedures for digging

  • Mark your proposed dig area in white paint.
  • Call 811 two (2) working days before you dig.
  • Do not dig until all utilities are located and marked. Each utility has its own contract locator, meaning there will be multiple locators marking the approximate location of underground utility lines or notifying you if there are no underground utilities in the area. Do not assume all utilities have responded to your request. You are responsible for contacting non-member utilities. Also privately owned utilities will not be located. Here’s one general rule: if the utility runs from the street to the meter, it will be marked. If the utility is installed from the meter to another location on your property, it will not be marked.
  • Maintain your marks. If marks are faded or destroyed, or flags removed, call 811 for remark. Please note locate marks expire 21 days after the initial request date.
  • Determine the precise location of the marked utilities by hand digging. Use hand tools when digging within 24” on either side of the locate marks.
  • Each excavator on the project MUST have their own BUD number.
  • Be mindful of ignition sources when working around gas pipeline.
  • Always assume electric lines are energized.

What to do if you strike an underground utility line

  • In the event you discover or cause damage, STOP excavation activities immediately. Notify 811 and all affected utility operators. If the damage is to a gas pipeline, evacuate the area and dial 911.
  • Do not attempt to stop the flow of gas by bending, crimping or taping a damaged pipeline. Attempting to stop the flow of gas does not make the area safe.

Uniform Color Code

Myths and truths about underground utilities

Tolerance zones and hand dig areas

Contact 811 before you dig videos

Contact 811 Before You Dig

Llame 811 antes de excavar

LG&E Professional Excavator Series Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

Tolerance Zone and Underground Assets

Color Codes and Markings

Excess Flow Valves and Markers

Photos/definitions of markings