Everything You Should Know About Underground Utility Color Codes

If you’ve ever had any work performed at your home that required digging, you undoubtedly realized that someone came out to your property to place colored flags in your yard or spray-paint your grass. These professionals were marking utility lines to ensure they weren’t severed during the project.

This post will cover what the color codes for marking underground utilities are so you know what you’re dealing with.

What do the different colors on underground utilities mean?

It’s not enough to simply know where a utility line is located. Contractors also want to know what type of utility line it is. These are the meanings of the different-colored flags or paint:

  • Red: Red flags indicate electrical power lines, cables, conduit or lighting cables. Hitting one of these lines could knock out power for your home or even the entire neighborhood.
  • Orange: Orange markings or flags mean there are telecommunications lines, alarm or signal lines or other cables underground.
  • Yellow: Yellow is for natural gas, oil, petroleum or any other gaseous or flammable material. Striking one of these lines could result in serious injuries or death.
  • Green: Green is the color code for marking underground utilities related to sewers and drain lines. Disruption during digging could mean being without running water for quite a while.
  • Blue: Blue is also related to your plumbing, but these markings indicate plumbing lines related to your drinking water.
  • Purple: Purple markings mean there’s reclaimed water, irrigation or slurry lines located underground. It’s not as common to see purple flags in a residential setting.
  • Pink: Pink is used as a temporary survey marking or to mark unidentified utility lines.
  • White: White isn’t directly related to a utility, but it’s still an important color. These flags are used to identify the proposed excavation route or project boundary.

Why does this all matter?

Properly identifying underground utilities and paying attention to them can make a big difference in your life. Here’s how:

  • Safety: Striking some lines could result in fatalities—and not just for the workers. A severed gas line, for example, could cause an explosion that disrupts the entire neighborhood.
  • Continued services: Hitting a line means you’ll be without that utility until a team can come out to fix it. That’s a huge inconvenience and could even mean having to stay in a hotel for a few weeks.
  • Cost savings: Even if they’re not the ones who actually dig into the line, the homeowner can be on the hook for severing a utility. To save yourself a ton of money in repairs, be sure that your ground is marked before any digging begins.

What can our team do for you?

We perform quite a few different services at Randy Roan Construction Inc., but one of our specialties is underground utility line installation. If you need to install water lines, sewer lines or storm drains, give us a call. We’re happy to give you a quote or answer any questions about what the different colors on underground utilities mean.