(ARA) – It’s that time of year again. All across the country, homeowners can finally put away the snow shovel, put on a pair of shorts and venture out into their yards with a digging shovel for an adventure in home improvement.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the association dedicated to protecting underground utilities and the people who dig near them, reminds homeowners and professional diggers that calling 811 is the first step to protect everyone from the risk of unintentionally damaging an underground line.
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811, which connects you to your local one-call utility notification center. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after making a call to 811.
Here’s how it works:
1. One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for your local one-call center to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.
2. Call a few days prior to digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly marked.
3. When you call 811, a representative from your local one-call center will ask for the location and description of your digging project.
4. Your local one-call center will notify affected utility companies, who will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines.
5. Once lines have been properly marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.
There are nearly 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the United States that your family depends on for everyday needs, including cable TV, high-speed Internet, landline telephone, electric, gas, water and sewer.
Unintentionally striking one of these lines can result in inconvenient outages for entire neighborhoods, harm to yourself or your neighbors, and repair costs. Digging damages an underground utility line once every three minutes nationwide, according to a recent CGA report, and one out of three incidents are caused because someone did not call 811.
To find out more information about Call 811 or the one-call utility notification center in your area, visit www.call811.com.