Spring is finally here! With the snow melted and the ground ready for planting, eager homeowners like you are gearing up to start those outdoor digging projects. Before you reach for that shovel to start digging, remember to call 811, the national call-before-you-dig number, to ensure that your buried utility lines are marked.
April is National Safe Digging Month, designated to remind everyone that the land is made up of a complex underground infrastructure of pipelines, wires and cables. Striking an underground utility line while digging can cause harm to you or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.
A call must be placed to 811 before every digging project, from simple landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs, to building a deck or installing a rural mailbox. There are 165,000 underground utilities damaged annually across the nation, and one out of every three incidents is the result of not calling 811. Don’t become part of the statistic – make sure to call 811!
Here’s how it works:
One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for your local call center to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.
Call at least 48 hours prior to digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly marked.
When you call 811, a representative will ask for the location and description of your digging project.
The call center will notify affected utility companies, who will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines.
Once lines have been properly marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.
Click here to watch the humorous exchange between actor John Ratzenberger and his neighbor Joe. While undertaking a do-it-yourself project, Joe finds out the hard way that safe digging always starts with a free call to 811.
Visit www.call811.com for more information about safe digging practices.