Make a Call to 811 Part of Your Springtime Plans

Spring is here! With the ground ready for planting, you might be gearing up to start an outdoor project that involves digging. Before you reach for that shovel, remember to call 811, the national Call-Before-You-Dig number, to ensure you know where utility lines are buried.

April is National Safe Digging Month, a designation to remind us that our land has 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.

That’s why it’s federal law to call 811 at least two business days before every digging project, from simple landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs, to building a deck or installing a rural mailbox.

Yet, every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first 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 notifies all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.
  • When you call, you’ll be asked for the location and description of your digging project.
  • The person taking your call will notify affected utility companies, who will then each send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines.
  • Once lines have been properly marked, you can roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.