Before you break ground on any project, a utility locate is required. Even something as small as planting a tree or hedge should have a call. This is a free service offered by the utilities in order to prevent utility damage. The process is easy, just call 811 at least 72 hours in advance.
Remember, it doesn't matter if you are doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor; 811 should always be called.
Visit call811.com for frequently asked questions and information.