Common Ground Alliance Launches Safe Digging Educational Partnership with The Home Depot

June 2010 Vol. 65 No. 6

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the nation's leading organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them, today announced a partnership with The Home Depot to educate customers on the importance of calling prior to digging.

Results from a recent national survey that found more than half (57 percent) of Americans who plan to dig on their property this year will not notify their local call-before-you-dig center by dialing 811, risking serious injuries, service disruptions and repair costs that can occur when a line is damaged.

To build awareness of the problem, The Home Depot and Common Ground Alliance are launching a partnership that will reach homeowners directly through Home Depot associates. The partnership includes 811 training for associates, availability of 811 literature for customers and placement of 811 stickers and key tags in rental centers and on rental equipment. The program kicked-off in stores throughout Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alaska this May.

"We are working to ensure every home improvement project involving digging begins with a free call to 811. The Home Depot's leadership and support of this very important message will advance our common goal to keep our communities and Home Depot customers safe," said Bob Kipp, CGA President.
Failure to call 811 a few days before digging contributed to an estimated 75,000 underground utility damages and was the leading reason for underground utility damage in 2009, according to industry data compiled by CGA.