National 811 Day reminds people to call before digging

O&R Urges All Excavators to Call 811 Before You Dig

“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 Kevin Service, senior vice president for Verizon network operations.

Every outdoor project that requires you to dig also requires a call to West Virginia 811 at least 48 hours before you start to dig, especially for those who live in areas affected by recent flooding, according to a news release. When making the free call to 811, callers are connected to their local one-call center. "We do not want anyone's project to become part of this statistic".

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. Even areas across the service territory that are not served by a particular service may still have utility lines running below ground.

Striking a single line can cause injury, fix costs, fines and inconvenient outages.

"Conversely, if you dial 8-1-1 before digging, there is a 99% chance your excavation project will be completed successfully without damage to underground utilities", Kiger continued. 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.

"You always contact 811 here in CT, before you start the job", he said. The company also provides customers and local contractors with important information about safety around overhead and underground utility lines through mailings, customer newsletters, social media and print advertising.

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The utility companies will each send a professional locator to the digging site to identify and mark the approximate location of the underground lines. Calling that number enables excavators to locate underground equipment that could be in the path of their work, and mark that equipment's location to prevent damage.

In 2016, 29 percent of all reported gas damages to Dig Safely New York were due to failure to contact 811 before commencing a digging project.

811 can be called from anywhere in the country.

Respect and protect the marks.

Additional information, including a damage prevention booklet on safe excavating practices and the protection of underground facilities, can be found online at http://newyork-811.com.

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