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While driving the streets of Dallas, Texas every driver (and passenger for that fact) is accustomed to seeing the solid and striped white and yellow lines on the pavement. These lines tell drivers what they should and should not be doing and alert them of potential danger. But, what about those other colored lines that are spray painted on the road and sidewalk, what do they mean?

We may not be used to seeing red, yellow, orange, green, blue, pink, white, and black spray-painted lines on the road everywhere we go, but where they do appear they have a significant meaning. These colored lines are normally around construction zones when construction is set to begin or in progress. The spray-painted lines tell construction workers what lies below the surface of the road and to dig with caution so they don't tap into an important line.

What does red spray paint on the pavement mean?

Seeing a red spray-painted line on the pavement or the sidewalk for instance means there is a buried power line in the area and anyone digging in the area should use extreme caution so they don't come into contact with it while digging and risk being electrocuted.

The color system used by contractors was originally mandated by the American Public Works Association and was set up as part of the American National Standard For Safety Colors. While red is used to indicate a buried power line, there are other colors that are used and signify important things:

  • red - electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables
  • orange - communication, alarm or signal lines and conduit
  • green - sewer line and drain
  • blue - potable water
  • purple - reclaimed water or irrigation
  • white - proposed excavation area
  • yellow - gas, oil, steam, petroleum line
  • pink - temporary survey marking

There are additional colors, these are the main colors you'll see spray painted on the pavement.

Call 8-1-1 to locate lines on your property before doing any digging.

Knowing where these lines are and what they mean could save you a lot of headaches. Even if doing a simple job on your property, you'll want to know where the lines are buried so you can avoid any costly repair to any lines you may cut into.

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