Digging Permit

Simple projects like staking down a tent, landscaping, fencing or even installing a signpost on campus can be dangerous and disruptive when digging without knowing where underground utility lines such as electric, communications, natural gas, water, steam, and sewer lines are located. Knowing where these underground utility lines are before putting a shovel or excavation equipment in the dirt helps prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient service outages.

In order to prevent damage to underground utilities on campus, Washington and Lee University has joined Virginia 811 (VA811). Before starting any digging projects on campus, no matter how large or small, the responsible party must contact VA811 by calling 811 or visiting the VA811 website va811.com. VA811 will then notify both public utilities and University Facilities to mark any nearby underground utilities.

Before contacting 811, outline the area of your activity with white paint or flags as this is the correct color for the proposed excavation area. After you contact Virginia 811, locators will come out and mark your project area to indicate where underground utilities are located with flags or spray paint. By law, the allowance time for marking is 48 hours beginning at 7:00 a.m. on the next working day after your ticket was submitted (excluding weekends and holidays). Before digging, you must wait until all utilities have been cleared on the ticket. It is important to remember that you must hand dig within two feet of all utility markings.

Utility companies will mark the approximate horizontal location of underground utilities to the point of consumption. Common examples of utility marking colors include:

Natural Gas (marked yellow) will be marked to the gas meter, which is usually located on the side of the home or building

Electricity (marked red) will be marked to the electric meter, which is usually placed on the side of the home or building

Communications (marked orange) Telephone and/or cable television will be marked to the Network Interface Device (NID), which is usually placed on the side of the home or building

Scheduling your VA811 ticket: Coordinate the date you submit a VA811 with the date you'll be working so that the ticket due date is no more than 3 days before the start of the activity. Submitting a ticket too early may result in flags or paint being removed by mowing or weather and may delay your project.

Buried utilities are hit every few minutes in the United States, often resulting in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs. Before starting any digging projects on campus, no matter how large or small, it's important to contact Virginia 811. You can submit a dig request online at va811.com or call 811. Always remember to contact Virginia 811, which is free and easy, to have buried utilities marked before you dig on campus.

If you have questions about a digging project which are not answered here, please contact University Facilities at 540-458-8490 or facilities@wlu.edu.