Digging Safe Is No Accident

By Traci Read, Managing Editor | April 2013, Vol. 68 No. 4

As a professional excavator, if you are digging or placing any object in the ground, you are required to get marks indicating the location of underground utilities. The person doing the excavating is the person that has to make the call.

Coordination, communication and cooperation between excavators, contractors, homeowners and utility owners can reduce the risk of damage to utility facilities. Before beginning an excavation, the excavator must notify, through a one-call notification center, all owners of underground facilities in the area of the proposed excavation.

The phone number 811 is a FCC-designated national N-11 number for homeowners and professional excavators to call before digging. Call 811 from anywhere in the country a few days prior to digging, and your call will be routed to your local One Call Center or use the state-specific information listed here. Tell the operator where you're planning to dig, what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a few days, they'll send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables, so you'll know what's below - and be able to dig safely. This is a free service provided by your utilities.

Each state has different rules and regulations governing digging, some stricter than others. State laws vary from 48 to 72 hours advance notice, most excluding weekends and legal holidays.

For more information about 811, visit www.call811.com or www.commongroundalliance.com.

Alabama 811
800-292 8525

Alaska Digline
800-478 3121

Arizona Blue Stake
800-782 5348

Arkansas One Call
800-482 8998

USA North
800-227 2600

Underground Service Alert of Southern California
800-227 2600

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