Here's a basic, step-by-step explanation of how O.U.P.S. helps keep families and communities safe.

  1. A homeowner, excavator or contractor contacts O.U.P.S., 8-1-1 or 1-800-362-2764, at least 48 hours but no more than 10 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) beforehand with his or her digging request. Excavators and contractors with large quantities of requests can submit them online, by using i-dig.

  2. After asking some questions about the area in which you plan to dig, including the address, nearest cross streets and extent of work to be done, the O.U.P.S. Customer Service Representative notifies members who own and operate underground facilities in that area.

  3. Representatives from these member companies have 48 hours (excluding weekends and legal holidays) to come to the location to mark their underground facilities. Some non-registered companies may require that you contact them directly.

  4. Preserve and protect the markings and then dig with care.
NOTE: The Ohio Oil and Gas Producers Underground Protection Service

is also committed to protecting underground facilities and preserving the safety of landowners and contractors.Call 800-925-0988 or 614-715-2984 or visit for further information about OGPUPS.


Utility Color Codes…

When a utility company representatives marks a location, they use colored flags and/or paint to identify the type of underground service:



Red - Electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables 


Yellow - Gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials


Orange - Communication, alarm or signal lines, cables or conduit 


Blue - Potable water 


Purple - Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines 


Green - Sewers and drain lines 


Pink - Temporary survey markings 


White - Proposed excavating 


If you hit a line…

For your safety, you should walk away immediately and take steps to clear the area to protect yourself and your crew. Don't try to repair or stop a leak yourself or use anything that might create a spark, such as a cell phone.

If a substance starts releasing into the air, such as natural gas, immediately call 9-1-1. For any damaged facility, you should also contact the utility company listed on the nearest marker as well as O.U.P.S., even if there appears to be no damage, not all facility damages can be detected by the naked eye.

Copyright 2016 Ohio Utilities Protection Service