What Do ALL These Colors Mean?

Picture of DPC of TExas

DPC of TExas

Ever drive by an intersection or a construction area and see all those flags of different colors sticking out of the ground? Or maybe you’ve seen spray painted lines on a roadway before they begin to start construction and wonder what they mean? Each flag and color have a meaning. But what are those meanings?

Utility color codes are used to identify where underground utilities are located with the intent of protecting them from damage during excavation. Colored lines and flags are necessary and are used to mark the approximate location and type of underground utility located in the area where you will be digging. The different colors represent a different utility or type of marking.

Here is a list of The American Public Works Association (APWA) colors and what each one represents.

Utility operators will locate and mark any underground pipe or cable that they own and maintain in the proximity of your project using the colors in the chart above. Now that you are familiar with the color code, calling 811 will be even easier.

No matter if you’re a contractor, landscaper or “do-it-yourselfer”, 811 works for you! Smart digging means always calling 811 before any project to have your underground utility lines marked to help keep you and your neighbors safe and with uninterrupted utility service.

Jennifer Pratt

Program Manager, Damage Prevention Council of Texas