August 11, also known as National 811 Day serves as a reminder to us all to contact 8-1-1, a free service, at least two working days prior to any digging projects. Whether you're a homeowner, a contractor, or just someone with a love for digging like our four-legged family dogs, it's important for underground utilities to be marked to avoid digging disasters.
Hitting a utility line can disrupt critical services to entire neighborhoods, cause dangerous gas leaks, result in fines and repair costs, and could cause serious injuries or, in some cases, even fatalities. Digging without contacting 8-1-1 and having underground lines marked is the number one cause of damage to buried utility lines year after year.
How does contacting 8-1-1 work?
Every digging project requires contacting 8-1-1 at least two business days prior to starting the excavation. It gives the 8-1-1 representatives time to come out and mark the appropriate lines. Remember, it's not just big projects that require a call to 8-1-1; even small tasks like installing a rural mailbox, putting up a fence, planting trees, or building a deck need to be cleared through 8-1-1. Even if you've hired a contractor, make sure that they contact 8-1-1 to have the lines marked. Oh, and don't forget, even hand digging requires contacting 8-1-1, as utilities can be buried just inches below the surface. Once the buried lines have been marked – and before using shovels or power excavation equipment – use a hand tool to carefully expose the line.
Our team uses high-tech mapping systems to create precise records of underground utility networks. So, when that 8-1-1 ticket comes in, they're ready to share that info, making sure the marking process is quick and efficient, leaving you more time for your next digging project. Our goal is to keep our community safe and free from any digging disasters, ensuring we can all play in the yard without any unexpected surprises.
So, remember, it's as easy as calling 8-1-1 or going online to digalert.org at least two business days before digging to request a ticket. Let's work together, paw in hand, to dig safely and protect our beloved underground utilities – because when we follow the rules and "paws" before digging, we ensure a happy and safe digging experience for everyone involved!
Learn more at sdge.com/811.