You’ll Know What’s Below By The Different Flags, Stakes Or Paint

How Do I Know My Lines Have Been Marked?

A representative from each member utility company will either mark the location of their facilities with paint and/or flags or let you know that their lines are not in conflict with the area in which you are planning to dig.


Member utility companies should have their underground lines marked sometime between the receipt of your confirmation and the dig start date and time included on your locate request ticket or JULIE Dig Number. It is important that your property is accessible or delays may occur. Member utility locators should always have clearly visible identification and rarely need to enter your home to complete a locate request.

What Do The Colors Represent?

All JULIE member utility companies follow the same color codes below to mark their underground utilities. As an important reminder, JULIE personnel are not utility locators and do not visit dig sites nor locate any underground lines.

Color Code Flags

What Do the White Flags/Paint Represent?

Prior to contacting JULIE or submitting an E-Request, pre-mark your project area using white paint or flags. Doing so provides facility owner locators more specific knowledge about where on your property you plan to do the work and lets them focus on just those areas. To avoid confusion, ONLY USE WHITE (black if snow is on the ground) for pre-marking…it’s required by law.

How Do You Pre-Mark?

Digging Pre mark

Figure 1

For a single point of digging like a tree, shrub, flagpole, etc., gently place a small stick or similar item into the ground with a white rag tied to it and ask that an area around the stick, for example a 10-foot radius, be marked (Figure 1).

Deck Digging Pre Marking by Flags

Figure 2

For larger work areas like decks, patios, sheds, pools, etc., use multiple sticks with white rags to mark the corners of the work area. It is recommended to place the sticks 5 to 10 feet past the actual edges of the work to allow for slight changes in your project scope (Figure 2).

Digging Pre-marking

Figure 3

For jobs that require digging a trench—like wires or pipes to a garage, shed, pool or yard feature for power, gas, water or communications lines as well as drain lines from gutter downspouts—place the same type of sticks with rags along your intended path and request a path wide enough for your work plus a bit of a cushion be marked. For example, locate a 10-foot-wide path along the pre-marked path from the corner of the house closest to the garage to the closest side of the garage, or words to that effect (Figure 3).Pre-marking can also be accomplished by using white spray paint. Look for white “inverted” marking paint at your favorite home improvement stores…it is meant for this type of use and typically fades much faster than regular spray paint. White marking flags may also be used in place of sticks and rags and may also be available at home improvement stores.

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