811 is the LAW. Digging a new flower bed or garden – Call 811. Even if it is just a small flower bed? How about installing a post call 811. Is it any different if you hire a landscaper or contractor? No – call 811.
Even if you are worried about slowing down your project, please call 811. Safety. Safety. Safety. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities. What gets damaged? Natural gas pipelines. Electric lines. Phone, internet, and other communication cables. Water lines. Sewer lines. This can result in service disruptions to your own home or business, and your neighbors, as well as serious injuries and costly repairs.
You may not know, but according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
CALL BEFORE YOU DIG. Please. It is actually federal law to call 811 at least two business days before digging.
Every time you dig follow these steps:
- Notify – call 811.
- Wait – utilities will do the marking in 2-3 days.
- Confirm – that all of the affected utility operators have responded to your request by comparing the marks to the list of utilities the one-call center notified. If they are, dig safely. If not, call again.
- Respect the marks – State laws generally prohibit the use of mechanized equipment within 18-24 inches of a marked utility, which is called the “tolerance zone” (click here for information from your state).
- Dig Safely – Avoid digging near the marks (within 18-24 inches on all sides, depending on state law), or consider moving your project to another part of your yard.
Making a call to 811 is the easiest way to make sure you keep you and your neighbors safe!!!