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Call 811 Before You Start Digging

By calling 811 a few days before starting a digging project, homeowners and professionals can avoid damaging vital utility lines.
By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom @SCE_CarolineA

Safe Digging Tips:

  • Call 811 a few days before you plan to start digging, whether it’s for a construction or gardening project.
  • Erosion and roots may shift the location of utility lines, so it is important to call 811 before every digging project.
  • Operators will refer you to a local utility company, which will then help mark the approximate location of a line(s) with flags or paint. Wait for your lines to be marked before starting your digging project.

Every six minutes, an underground utility line — including gas, electric, water and communications lines — is damaged because of digging without calling 811 first

By calling 811, the federally designated call before you dig number, customers can help themselves and the professionals they hire to avoid digging into a vital utility line.

With an estimated 38.6 million people nationwide expected to dig this year without having their underground utility lines marked, remember to call 811 before starting any digging project.

Here are some steps to follow to help keep you safe:

  • Call 811 a few days before you plan to start digging, whether it’s for a construction or gardening project.
  • Operators will refer you to a local utility company, which will then help mark the approximate location of a line(s) with flags or paint. Wait for your lines to be marked before starting your digging project.
  • Make sure to dig around the marked lines, not on them.
  • Remember that some utility lines are buried at shallow depths.
  • Erosion and roots may shift the location of utility lines, so it is important to call 811 before every digging project.
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