Call 811 Before You Dig - 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.