Why Contact 811 Before Digging?
Aug 11, 2022 | Helpful Tips
August 11 is here, and Gateway Fiber 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 calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to Missouri One Call, the local 811 center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Requests can also be made online at www.mo1call.com . Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, inconvenient outages, and fines. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, 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 11th and throughout the year, Gateway Fiber reminds homeowners and professional contractors alike to use the free 811 service before digging to reduce the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Derek Leffert, Head of Safety & Government Affairs for Gateway Fiber. “More and more lines are being buried underground for the vital utility services that we rely on. Gateway Fiber is committed to protecting this underground utility network and we encourage our customers to do their part as well.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for many 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.
- call before you dig