Public vs Private Utility Locate Services

Public vs Private Utility Locate Services
April 4, 2024

Working on a project that requires excavation? Maybe you’re installing a french drain, removing a tree, or putting up a fence. Whether you hire someone to do the job or are a DIY-er, you need to know what’s going on underground.

Before you break down, you need to understand what buried utility lines may be in your path. From gas lines, to sewer lines, to electric lines, to water lines, there are so many different utilities to map. Subsurface utility strikes are expensive to fix, disruptive, and put you at risk for injury.

Always locate underground utilities and mark them before you dig. A good first step is to call 811 to mark public utilities. It is also important for property owners to contact a private utility locating company, like UtiliSource, to mark any thing that doesn’t fall under public locate services. Remember, always call before you dig.

What is 811?

811 is a public service that provides underground utility locate services to both professionals and homeowners. These services will locate and mark underground utilities on your property or job site to avoid utility strikes to public utilities. 

It is important to note that not all underground utilities fall in the public sector. Calling 811 is just a starting point, there may be other lines buried underground that do not fall under 811’s scope.

What are Private Locates Services?

Private locators are there to locate and mark any utility lines that fall outside of the public sphere. Residential homes may have private lines that connect to heated pools, detached garages or sheds, sprinkler systems, septic lines, and more.

Other areas where private locate services may be needed are commercial properties such as business/industrial areas, gated communities, apartment complexes, schools, universities, and hospitals just to name a few.

Public vs Private Lines

Simply speaking, anything a property owner maintains and owns falls under private lines and anything owned by a utility company is public. Public utility lines and cables end at the meter for that line. The utility company will own and maintain lines up to that point. Anything that falls outside of that is a private line.

Common Public Utility Lines:

  • Gas pipes
  • Sewer lines
  • Water pipes
  • Electric lines
  • Telecommunications lines

Common Private Utility Lines:

  • Utility lines from the meter into your home
  • Septic systems
  • Drainage systems
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Propane tanks and lines
  • Electric lines to a pool or shed
  • Gas lines to an outdoor grill

UtiliSource: Your Go-To for Private Locate Services

Not all underground lines are publicly owned, it is important to contact both private locate services and 811 call before you dig services. Cover all your bases and contact UtiliSource for your next excavation project. Keep you and your property safe and call before you dig. 

At UtiliSource, we use state-of-the-art technology to map all subsurface utilities. Contact us to learn more about our private locate services to schedule a mark out.

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