National 811 Day is conducted each year on August 11 to build homeowner and contractor awareness of safe digging practices.
Damages to Consumers Energy natural gas system because homeowners did not call MISS DIG 8-1-1 are down 21 percent in the first half of 2017 compared to same period in 2016. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both. Calls to the free locating service can be made up to 10 days in advance, too.
Virginia's C.A.R.E. message reminds you to call VA811 and emphasizes additional steps you can take to prevent damage to underground utility lines. "This IS a statistic we want homeowners and professional excavators to be a part of". Hand dig with caution and never use mechanized excavation equipment within 18 inches of marked utilities.
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"If you think about it, there are a lot of buried utilities on the ground". "Calling 811 before you dig is the law". Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck and even small projects like planting trees or shrubs are all examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting. "Even minor damage, such as a scrape, dent, or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak".
Striking an underground electric or natural gas pipe can cause serious injury, damages and service interruptions.
A free call to MISS DIG 8-1-1 at 8-1-1 or online at http://elocate.missdig811.org at least three business days before digging will help ensure the safety of those performing the work and the integrity of underground utilities such as natural gas, electric, cable and water. So, even if you have had an area marked previously, you still need to call 811 before you dig. Once lines have been accurately marked, this is when digging can start. If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinct odor of gas is present, folks should call 9-1-1 or the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-877-427-4321.
Visit www.blackhillsenergy.com for more information about 811, safe digging practices, how to save money by saving energy and other energy-related services and information.