Southeast Gas hopes that the 8/11 date on the calendar will serve as a natural reminder for residents to contact 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Every few minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first contacting 811.
When you contact 811, your local utility companies mark the approximate location of any buried lines in your yard so that you don’t risk injuring yourself or disrupting utility service to the neighborhood. It’s easy to make your free request by calling 811 or going online to al811.com. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires contacting 811 to ensure underground utilities have been appropriately marked before digging.
Striking a single line can cause repair costs, inconvenient outages and fines, severe injuries and even death. Every digging project warrants contacting 811 by phone or online. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are just some examples of digging projects that require a free 811 request at least a few days before breaking ground.
“On August 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to use the free 811 service before digging to reduce the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Mark Fowler, Safety Coordinator for Southeast Gas. “Calling 811 or visiting al811.com is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area so that you can dig safely and keep your community safe and connected.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches or digging in a location that’s previously been marked, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Visit www.811beforeyoudig.com or al811.com for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.