FULTONDALE, AL – With Aug. 11 almost here, Alabama 811 hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Every hour, more than six damages to buried utilities occur because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
When calling 811, or placing online requests at www.al811.com through the web portal or mobile app, homeowners and contractors are connected to Alabama 811, a free service to the excavating community, which notifies member utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of member underground lines with flags, paint, or both. If there are utility owners in the area of excavation who do not participate as a member of Alabama 811, the excavator is responsible for contacting them on an individual basis.
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.
“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Annette Reburn, executive director for Alabama 811. “It really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects, and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Visit www.al811.com for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.