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National 811 Day reminds people to call before digging

12 August 2017

Each year, August 11, or 811, serves as a reminder to the public to call 8-1-1 before starting an outdoor digging project. "On this day and throughout the year we continue to remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line", said Joe Berry, director of Damage Prevention for CenterPoint Energy. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with colored flags, spray paint or both.

The State Corporation Commission reminds Virginians that calling 811 is simple and free and connects you to VA811 (formally known as Miss Utility of Virginia), which notifies the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig or demolish. "We are pleased to see progress in building public awareness of MISS DIG 8-1-1, and we want to help people avoid underground pipelines". "The number-one cause of underground utility damage is not digging properly". "Still, even with that record number of calls, 44 percent of the damage to our electric facilities in 2016 occurred because someone did not call 811 before digging". Whether it is a small project like planting a tree, or a larger one such as hiring a professional to install a lawn irrigation system, smart digging means calling 811 before each job.

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If you hit an underground utility line while digging, you could cause serious injuries, disrupt service to your neighbors, or face fines and fix costs.

According to the Common Ground Alliance, there are more than 100 billion feet of underground utilities in the United States, equating to more than one football field's length of buried utilities for every person in the country. This can result in disruption of service, property damage, injuries and even deaths. PSEG Long Island has more than 5,000 circuit miles of underground electric distribution and transmission lines across Long Island and in the Rockaways. So, even if you have had an area marked previously, you still need to call 811 before you dig.

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Calling 811 has prevented thousands of underground excavation damages.

-Call 8-1-1 before digging: When starting an outdoor project involving digging, contact Georgia 811 at 8-1-1 or 1- 800-282-741.

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Visit www.nc811.org or www.call811.com for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

National 811 Day reminds people to call before digging