PHOTO: Making a free call to 811 or placing an online locate request before any excavation projects including digging for DIY home improvement projects – such as landscaping or installing a mailbox or fence – can prevent damage to underground utility lines and keep our communities safe and connected.
By Southern Torch Staff
FULTONDALE, Ala. – Coordination, communication, and cooperation between excavators, contractors, homeowners, and utility owners can reduce the risk of damage to underground facilities. If you plan any digging, excavation, demolition activities or moving the earth that could damage underground utility facilities, state law requires contacting Alabama 811.
Unintentional damage to underground facilities during excavation projects is a significant cause of disruption in telecommunications, water supply, electric power and other vital public services, such as hospitals and air traffic control operations, and is a leading cause of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline accidents.
Everyone who contacts 811 at least two (2) working days before digging is connected to Alabama 811 who will gather information about the planned excavation location and activity and communicate it to our member utility companies. Once a site has been marked with the approximate location of the underground facilities, it is safe to begin digging carefully around the marked areas.
As part of National Safe Digging Month, Alabama 811 encourages professional excavators and homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project:
- Always contact 811 a minimum of two (2) full working days, not counting the day of notification before digging, regardless of the depth.
- Plan ahead. Call Alabama 811 or use our online locate request Web Portal, mobile application or if you are a homeowner utilize our Homeowner Locate Request Portal or early in the week if work is planned for the upcoming weekend, to provide ample time for the approximate location of member underground utility lines to be marked.
- Professional locators will then to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines at your project dig site.
- Confirm that all lines have been marked by the Alabama 811 member utilities with spray paint, flags or stakes.
- Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
- If a contractor has been hired, always confirm that the contractor has contacted 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.
To find out more information about Alabama 811, visit www.call811.com.