National Safe Digging MonthApril 11, 2012
April is National Safe
Know What’s Below -
Always Call 811 Before You Dig
There are nearly 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the
United States. These buried facilities, including gas, water, sewer, cable TV,
high-speed Internet, landline telephone and electric, provide the services
Americans depend on for their basic everyday needs.
If you are planning a job that requires digging, even if you plan to hire a professional, a call to 811 is
required before you begin working. 811 is a free, FCC-designated national
one-call number that connects a caller from anywhere in the country to the
appropriate local one-call center. The one-call center will then alert the
appropriate underground facility owners so they can dispatch locators to mark
the approximate location of their lines with paint or flags.
Each year more than 165,000 underground utility lines are unintentionally damaged nationwide, and one in
three are caused by failure to call 811 before digging. Also, according to a
recent Common Ground Alliance survey 69 percent of homeowners think digging
without calling 811 would not lead to any negative consequences, despite there
being 100 billion feet of utility lines buried underground in the United States.
Unintentionally striking a line can result in inconvenient outages for entire neighborhoods, harm to
yourself or your neighbors, and repair costs.
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox,
building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging
projects that should only begin a few days after making a call to 811.
Here’s how it works:
1. One free, simple phone
call to 811 makes it easy for your local one-call
center to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to
2. Call a few days prior to digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly
3. When you call 811, a representative from your local one-call center will ask for the location and
description of your digging project.
4. Your local one-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
5. Once lines have been
properly marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked
To find out more
information about Call 811 or the one-call utility notification center in your
area, visit www.call811.com.
Posted on April 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm
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