Verizon 'Digs' Safe Digging -- on 811 Day (8/11) and Every Day

Safe digging is no accident.

On Aug. 11, Verizon will join hundreds of companies and organizations in the U.S. that are using that day as a reminder of the importance of safe digging. By calling the nationwide call-before-you-dig number - 811 - anyone who is digging can help prevent the unintentional strike of underground utility lines.

The 811 number was established in 2005 by the Federal Communications Commission to provide an easy and free method for protecting underground utility lines.

"Protecting the safety of customers, employees and communities is of utmost importance, so Verizon promotes safe digging not only on Aug. 11 but year-round," said Diane McCarthy, senior vice president of Verizon's global network field operations. "We include 811 bumper stickers on our fleet vehicles, offer training on safe digging best practices, and distribute hats, gloves and other promotional materials with the 811 logo to our employees and contractors who dig as part of their jobs."

Verizon also will be promoting 811 Day with activities hosted by the Common Ground Alliance, a member-driven association of nearly 1,400 individuals, organizations and sponsors that are committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage-prevention practices.

"Verizon's continued support of Aug. 11 as 811 Day is a great way to remind homeowners of their responsibility to call 811 prior to any digging project," said Bob Kipp, president of the Common Ground Alliance.

Callers to 811 are connected to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate location of underground lines.

All states require those who plan on digging to call ahead to get utility lines marked before digging. Each state has different guidelines for calling ahead, which can be found here. Underground lines are then marked by using universal colors denoting what is buried below ground:

  • Orange - communications, telephone/CATV
  • Red - electric
  • Blue - potable water
  • Green - sewer/drainage
  • Yellow - gas/petroleum pipe line
  • Purple - reclaimed water
  • White - pre-mark site of intended excavation

"One easy phone call to 811 helps assure digging projects are done safely and that property and families are protected," said McCarthy.

For more information about 811, click here.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.