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Frontline Workers Say “Call Before You Dig”

By Alexis Eades

811, Know Before You Dig

We all know that we’re surrounded by utilities. But we don’t often think about how many of them are out of sight, underground. Whether you are a contractor, developer or a homeowner, if you plan to dig on your property, you might run the risk of accidentally hitting buried electric, telecommunications, water, sewer, or gas lines.

Why is this a problem?

Damaging utility cables and pipes is not only expensive, but it could also cause serious injury, even loss of life. While this could be devastating in normal times, it’s an especially dangerous prospect during a pandemic. Hospitals, labs, and other essential resources rely on that infrastructure to enable them to manage virus-related activities.

Our friends at North Carolina 811 have provided this video reminding us to Call 811 Before you Dig. NC811 provides the state with a timely and user-friendly way to connect utility providers with members of the public who want to dig. 811 is not only a national program but also the law. Even for developers or contractors who plan extensive land excavation, calling 811 is the first step before employing the use of other means of utility location.

How does it work?

You call 811 or 1-800-632-4949 three weekdays before you plan on digging to provide information about your excavation. Utility locators mark your publicly managed underground lines that may conflict with the work area, usually within about three days. This process is completely free of charge because it is in the entire community’s best interest.

It’s fast, it’s simple, and it can make a huge difference.

So, whether you’re developing a piece of land or looking at your backyard and envisioning that new pool you’ve been wanting, remember to CALL 811!

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