National 811 Day is a Call to Dig Safely

On Aug. 11, utilities from across the country are calling on customers to call 811 before every dig.
By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom @SCE_CarolineA

Did you know that there are more than 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the United States? That’s more than one football field in length for every man, woman and child.

And every six minutes, an underground utility line — including gas, electric, water and communications lines — is damaged.

That’s why this Aug. 11, utilities like Southern California Edison are asking customers to take the time to Call 811 before starting any digging project.

Here are some steps you can 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.

By following these steps, you can avoid injuries, damage to your property or prolonged power outages.