Safe Digging Month: Call 8-1-1 First
Posted April 15, 2019
Every 6 minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone dug without first calling 811 – the number you can call for free, from anywhere in the country, to verify that it’s safe to dig.
The goal is to keep everyone safe by ensuring that there are no below-ground utility lines that could be unintentionally damaged.
April is Safe Digging Month, an annual campaign to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before starting a home project that involves digging.
Whether you’re a DIYer installing a fence, adding a mailbox or planting a tree, or a contractor working on a larger project, call 811. Your local utility companies will be notified and will come and mark underground lines with flags or spray-paint in the area where you plan to dig.
According to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the United States has more than 20 million miles of underground utilities which, if accidentally damaged by digging, can have significant negative outcomes – virtually all of them avoidable if an 811 call is made before the digging begins.
Make the call. It is an important step to ensure the safety of yourself and your community.
API communications intern Sarah Capuzzi contributed to this post.
About The Author
Kate Wallace is an associate of research and content development for the American Petroleum Institute. Before joining API she was a researcher and policy analyst at America’s Natural Gas Alliance, and worked on pollinator conservation programs and state wildlife conservation policies before entering the energy industry. Kate graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Resource Economics, and earned her Master of Public Administration from George Mason University. She loves taking her dogs on hikes, travelling and navigating the northern Virginia/DC craft beer and wine scenes with her friends and family.
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