Today is Aug. 11 – or 811 Day – and Verizon once again is highlighting the importance of calling 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked.
For the 10th year in a row, Verizon joins hundreds of companies and organizations in the U.S. that are using the special date as a reminder of the importance of safe digging. By calling the nationwide call-before-you-dig number – 8-1-1 – anyone who is digging can help prevent the unintentional strike of underground utility lines.
Calling 811 has prevented thousands of underground excavation damages. The 811 number was established in 2005 by the Federal Communications Commission to provide an easy and free method for protecting underground utility lines.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811.
“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Kevin Service, senior vice president for Verizon network operations. “Calling 811 really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area.”
Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces.
Here’s how 811 works:
- 811 can be called from anywhere in the country.
- A representative from your local one call center will answer the call to find out the location and description of the digging site.
- The affected utility companies will be notified of the intent to dig.
- The utility companies will each send a professional locator to the digging site to identify and mark the approximate location of the underground lines.
- Once lines have been marked, you should respect the marks and dig carefully around them.