Underground Service Alert
Underground Service Alert (USA) is a non-profit mutual benefit organization that links the excavation community and the owners of underground lines. Underground Service Alert has two separate call centers for California: Underground Service Alert of Northern California (USA North) and Underground Service Alert of Southern California (USA South, aka DigAlert). Although they are not affiliated and are run by separate boards of directors, they share the common goal of safe digging. USA North handles Northern and Central California as well as Nevada. DigAlert handles nine Southern California counties. Calls to either center are free for all homeowners, excavators and professional contractors who are digging, blasting, trenching, drilling, grading, excavating, or otherwise moving any earth.
USA began operation in 1976 and incorporated as a mutual-benefit nonprofit corporation in 1986. USA receives planned excavation reports from public and private excavators and transmits those reports to participating members of USA. USA members include private companies and public agencies that have underground lines or facilities. The USA members will either mark or stake their facility, provide information or give clearance to dig.
Outside the United States
The United Kingdom uses a convention for marking underground utilities, such as telephone, gas, water and electricity. These markings are by convention colour-coded, and are painted by contractors onto the pavement.
- Cawley, Laurence. "What do those squiggles on the pavement actually mean?". BBC News. Retrieved 19 February 2014.