July/August 2020

National 811 Call Before You Dig Day

On August 11, we recognized ‘National 811 Call Before You Dig Day.’
By promoting awareness of ‘811 Call Before You Dig,’ as gas professionals, we reminded our stakeholders of the importance to call 811 prior to the start of business initiatives or homeowner projects that require digging.

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a member association of 1,700 utility industry professionals and companies, is a leading organization that advocates effective damage prevention practices, such as ‘811 Call Before You Dig.’ As a result of a March, 2020, survey, CGA reported that an estimated 31 million homeowners are planning to complete home improvement projects that involve digging in 2020; and approximately 36% of American homeowners who plan to dig this year will not call 811 beforehand, putting themselves and their communities at risk.

It is not uncommon to underestimate the risk when lines are buried underground, but hitting an underground utility line while digging can cause serious injuries, disrupt service to entire neighborhoods, threaten the environment, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.
Summarized below, are speaking points for ‘811 Call Before You Dig,’ keeping us and our stakeholders informed:

What is 811:
811 is the national call-before-you-dig phone number that helps to protect our communities and ensures the safety of our employees, partners and customers. It is a free service to have a professional inspector visit your home or jobsite and mark the property before you dig for a business initiative, yard work project, renovation, or for any other purpose that requires digging.

When to call 811:
Every digging project requires a call to 811.
811 can be called from anywhere in the U.S. You should call 811 or contact your state’s 811 center online, at least three (3) business days before you begin any digging, including common projects like planting trees and shrubs, creating a garden or installing fences and mailboxes. This advanced notice provides time for professional locators to mark any underground utility lines with paint or flags so that you do not unintentionally dig into an underground utility line.

Miss Utility of Delmarva
811 or 1-800-282-8555 (DE and Eastern Shore of MD)

Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc.
811 or 1-800-242-1776

Virginia 811
811 or 1-800-552-7001

Ohio 811
811 or 1-800-362-2764

Sunshine 811
811 or 1-800-432-4770

What info do I need before calling 811?
You will need to provide the address of where you plan to dig, including the county and nearest cross street, the type of project, and the exact area on the property where you are planning to dig. Whether you call 811 or make your request online, you will need the same information.

After I call 811, what do I do?
After calling 811, you need to wait a few days to allow utilities to respond and ensure that all utilities have indeed completed your request before breaking ground. A representative from your local 811 call center will notify the affected utility companies and the respective utility companies will send a professional locator to the digging site to identify and mark the approximate location of the underground lines. Once all utilities have marked their buried lines, you should dig carefully around any utility marks and consider relocating projects that are close to buried utilities.

Thank you for your genuine commitment to our Journey to Safety and for keeping yourself, your families, our customers, communities, and each other safe.

The Safety Committee