The campaign reminds Americans to make a free call to 811 a few days before digging to have the approximate location of nearby underground utility lines marked.
CGA reported every three minutes this year someone will dig and hit an underground gas, electric, communications, water or sewer line, putting themselves and their communities at risk. The same report shows the odds of a person digging and hitting or damaging a utility line are less than 1 percent just by making this free phone call.
The program works by connecting homeowners and contractors who call 811 to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators go to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or a combination of the two.
CGA pointed out the importance of calling 811 by noting striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. It is also important to note the depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces; utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Examples of digging projects which elicit a call to 811 include, but are not limited to, installing a rural mailbox, building a deck and planting trees.
CGA intends for August 11 to serve as a natural reminder to Americans to call before you dig.
For more information about 811 and safe digging practices, visit call811.com.