(ARA) - Have you ever looked outside and noticed your neighbor's front yard painted with colorful lines or covered with flags?

Despite its appearance, it's not yard graffiti, but rather temporary markings to show the approximate location of underground utility lines on the property. Underground utility lines can be found in the front or backyard and include all of the service lines such as water, gas and communication lines that bring service from the street into your home.

The experts at the Common Grounds Alliance, an association dedicated to ensuring public safety through underground utility damage prevention practices, share their guide to the colorful markings:

* Red markings represent electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables.
* Yellow markings represent gas, oil, steam petroleum or gaseous materials.
* Orange markings represent communication, alarm or signal lines.
* Blue markings represent potable water lines.
* Green markings represent sewer and drain lines.
* Purple markings represent reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines.
* Pink markings represent temporary survey lines.
* White markings represent proposed excavation.

If you are planning a yard project that requires you to dig, follow your neighbor's example and contact your local one call center by dialing 811 to have underground lines properly marked. Striking a single line can result in personal harm, costly fines, inconvenient outages or property damages.

No matter the type of project -- installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, planting trees or shrubbery, building a patio or deck, excavating a new garden area -- make sure to call 811 at least two business days prior to digging to have your site properly marked.

When you dial 811, a local one call center representative will collect your information and notify local utility companies of your intent to dig. A professional locator will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of all underground utility lines with spray paint or flags. Once your digging site has been marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

Contact your local one call center at 811 before every dig, or visit www.Call811.com for more safe digging and state-specific information.

Courtesy of ARAcontent