Dial 811 Before You Dig
August 6th, 2012
By Heather Vaughan
Sanford, N.C – This Saturday is Aug. 11, or 8/11, and on this date Central Electric is reminding members to call 811 to have underground utilities marked before beginning any outdoor projects that involve digging. This free and simple step can save lives and reduces risk of injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages.
According to the Common Ground Alliance, the leading association dedicated to protecting underground lines and the safety of people who dig near them there were 6,197 reports of damage to underground infrastructure in North Carolina in 2011. Most of these incidents could have been prevented if diggers had called 811 to have their lines marked before picking up the shovel.
“Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. We’re using August 11 to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before every digging job, even if it’s something simple like planting a shrub or installing a mailbox,” said Mike Adcock, Manager of Operations at Central Electric. “Whether you are a home gardener or professional excavator, it’s important to know what’s below ground to prevent a potentially life-threatening mistake.”
The national 811 “Call Before You Dig” phone number links residents to a local call center, which then dispatches local utility companies to mark line locations with paint or flags. This service is free, and in North Carolina, residents should call 48-72 hours before digging will take place.
Marked lines show diggers where it is – and isn’t – safe to break ground. The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple lines in the same area. By calling before every project, no matter how simple, residents can help save lives, avoid costly penalties and protect infrastructure.
For more information about safe digging and the “Call Before You Dig” process, visit the NC 811 website at www.nc811.org.