Call 811 Before You Dig: It's the Law!
Calling 811 Reduces Risk of Damaged Utility Lines by 99 Percent
Did you know that, before you dig, the law requires you to call 811 to have all buried utility lines located and marked?
August 11 (8/11) serves as a reminder to always call 811 before digging.
Calling 811 connects you to your local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Professional locators then go to the digging site to mark the locations of underground utility-owned lines with flags and spray paint, free of charge.
All excavators should call 811 at least three business days before digging on public or private property. When you call 811 before digging, the chance of hitting an underground utility line decreases to 99.9 percent.
Since 2008, Atmos Energy has seen a 47 percent increase in requests by the public to have underground natural gas lines marked. Once underground utility lines are marked, it is important to take special care around all line markings by digging by hand.
“The greatest risk to our natural gas pipelines is accidental damage while digging,” says John Paris, president of Atmos Energy’s Mid-Tex division. “Even minor damage, such as a scrape, dent or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak.”
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.