Have you ever rolled out of bed to find a few mysterious flags have sprouted in your yard overnight? These aren’t exotics weeds. Rather, these flags and paint markings on the grass have been placed there by a public or private utility company to mark buried utilities, such as gas and electrical cables. Typically, utility companies use these flags when a dig request has been tendered. As the globe’s foremost providers of marking products, Presco is proud to serve the utilities industry in this vitally important safety process.

It’s easy to forget that just a few feet under the ground lies a complex network of various utility lines that service homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals. From electricity and natural gas to fiber optics and street lights, this subterranean environment can get crowded fast. To prevent wires crossing, laws require that companies obtain approval before laying lines.

As part of this regulation, a handful of utilities are permanently marked above-ground with small placards or bollards.[1]But this is an exception to the rule—anyone looking to dig, from utility companies to someone putting up a fencepost, should call 811 or a private company to survey and mark their dig site.

Detecting and mapping underground utility lines is no easy task. With many different types of lines waiting under the surface, each with their own manufacturing materials and processes, it is necessary to use multiple locating devices. This could mean electromagnetic equipment for petroleum pipelines or radiolocation for plastic cables, and this equipment is not easily accessible to everyone. And while maps can be useful, they are often unreliable.

Presco currently serves the electric, gas, oil, and communications industries with safety marking flags. But when a Presco flag or paint marking arrives on your lawn, what does the color signify? Here’s a guide to make a quick ID[2]:

Whatever the color, flags should not be removed. If you’re curious about what a flag marks or why it’s been placed in a specific spot, locate the company logo or phone number on the flag and contact that company or utility service.

Utility lines are necessary to maintain our modern world, and we at Presco realize that marking utilities isn’t just about avoiding breakage and other forms of damage—it’s about safety. We proudly serve numerous utility industries with marking flags that are tough, reliable, and clearly labeled. Our flag colors are long-lasting and made with bright colors that are unmistakable for important utility identification. Private labels, UPC codes, and more custom options are available to ensure that we provide the best possible service to this essential industry.

Read more at presco.com

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_location

[2]http://baker-peterson.com/a-guide-to-utility-marking-flags/