August 11th is 811 day. Did you know that every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone dug without first calling 811? Call 811 before you dig to make sure you know what’s below. Even if you think you could get lucky or that digging one small hole (or two) won’t matter, don’t take for granted what lines might lurk beneath the soil in your yard or easement.
Before you use that post hole digger or other unearthing tools, STOP and call 811 to request that buried electric, gas, cable and other live lines in or near your yard be marked. The service is free but digging in an unmarked yard may not be.
You might think you don’t have time for that and ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen?
YOU COULD DIE OR BECOME SERIOUSLY INJURED.
There are other consequences of blindly digging and taking a chance:
- You could cause a power outage.
- Hit a gas line and get burned or cause an evacuation in your neighborhood.
- If you hit a telephone line or fiber optic line, you might lose your telephone, cable TV or internet service. Worse yet, it could interfere with your neighborhood’s emergency assistance technology.
- You could be fined.
Although it all seems like “your” yard, utilities have the right of way to the live lines lurking under the ground in places where you might dig.
Jackson Purchase Energy Cooperative reminds you that Call811.com lists the name and contact information for each state’s digging notification service. The site also lists the advance notice required for marking services, which is usually two days, not including the day you call, weekends or holidays.
As call811.com says, “Know what’s below.” Then dig safely.