What is New Mexico 811?

New Mexico 811 is a free service that you use before you do any kind of digging to make sure you don’t damage underground lines. Let us know at least two working days before you start digging and we will help you avoid costly or dangerous buried lines by alerting the owners of lines in the digging area. New Mexico 811 is not responsible for the actual marking of the lines.

How close to the marks or flags can I dig?

You are required to maintain an 18” clearance from the cutting edge of your mechanical equipment to the edge of the underground facility as determined by the paint mark on the ground. Within this 18” “tolerance zone” you may expose the underground utility line either by hand digging or vacuum excavation.

Will my private utility lines be marked?

No. Member utilities companies are responsible to mark only the facilities that they own or maintain. Private underground pipes and cables may not be owned or maintained by member utility companies, therefore they are unable to locate them. Private utility lines are lines commonly between the meter and a home or utility lines that were installed by the home owner to out buildings, etc. It is your responsibility to investigate if any privately-owned utilities are in the area.

If New Mexico 811 doesn’t mark the lines, then how does this 811 thing work?

When someone calls 811 in New Mexico, he or she is connected to New Mexico 811 (our state’s one-call center, where a representative collects information about the caller’s planned dig site. The one call center then communicates the information to the appropriate utility companies, which send professional utility locating technicians to identify and mark the approximate location of lines within two working days of the phone call.  Once lines have been marked, the caller may dig safely around the marks

How deep are underground lines buried?

It depends on the type of buried line, and whether it was installed properly.  Although facility owners may follow depth guidelines when installing lines, they have no control over depth variation caused by human interference, weather, or other circumstances. As a result, depths are not provided by utility locators. 

You should always call 811, no matter how large or small your project or how deep you are digging. Whether you’re planning a backyard project or hiring a professional excavator— calling 811 is always the safest option.