With the arrival of spring, eager homeowners are gearing up to start outdoor digging projects. But before reaching for that shovel to start digging, remember to call 811, the national call-before-you-dig number, to ensure that buried utility lines and pipelines are marked.
The Common Ground Alliance and its 1,700 members, including the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, recognize April as National Safe Digging Month. Throughout April, INGAA and its members will promote National Safe Digging Month through state and nationwide outreach and local events.
National Safe Digging Month was designated a decade ago to remind Americans that our 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 hefty 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. Every six minutes an underground utility line or pipeline is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. Don’t become part of the statistic – make sure to call 811!
The toll-free 811 number works in every state. A call center will help identify the location of underground utilities on your property, and if necessary, send a professional – at no cost – to mark the location on your property of gas lines, electric lines and telephone, television or internet cables plus other elements of the underground infrastructure, including pipelines, so you avoid them.
Be safe. Call before you dig. Every time you dig. Visit http://www.call811.com this April, or any other day, to learn more about 811 and safe digging practices.