What does it mean? All that paint on sidewalks and streets

All those colored lines you see spray painted on the ground, streets and sidewalks typically mean one thing: someone’s going to start digging.  Each color tips off a worker to what’s underground.

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The lines identify where underground utilities run so those excavating nearby don’t hit a line and knock out phone service, the internet, electric, water or gas to an area of town.

In Ohio, a specific color identifies certain underground services: 

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

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By law, anyone digging is required to call 8-1-1 within 48 hours of beginning a job (excluding weekends and legal holidays). Each company will dispatch someone to mark that service with the corresponding color.

But before the utilities get located, the person notifying 8-1-1 should use white paint to mark the job area so the locators don’t have to mark up sidewalks and streets with an unnecessary amount of paint.

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