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.
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
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.