It's digging season; remember to call

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring is finally here, and so is National Safe Digging Month. With the ground ready for planting, anxious homeowners, like you, are gearing up to start those outdoor digging projects. Before you reach for that shovel to start digging, remember to call 811, the national call-before-you-dig number to ensure that your buried utility lines are marked.

The Common Ground Alliance and its 1,400 members, including Tennessee 811, and the Lewisburg Gas Department recognize April as National Safe Digging Month. Throughout April, Tennessee 811 will be promoting National Safe Digging Month through statewide outreach and local events. For more information, visit or

National Safe Digging Month was designated to remind Tennessee residents that our land is made up of a complex underground infrastructure of pipelines, wires and cables. Striking an underground utility line while digging can cause harm to you or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.

A call must be placed to Tennessee 811 before every digging project, from simple landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs, to building a deck or installing a rural mailbox. Failure to call before digging results in more than 200,000 unintentional hits annually across the nation. Don't become part of the statistic -- make sure to call.

Here's how it works:

One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for Tennessee 811 to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.

Call at least 72 business hours, excluding weekends and holidays, prior to digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly marked.

When you call 811, a representative from Tennessee 811 will ask for the location and description of your digging project.

Tennessee 811 will notify affected utility companies, who will then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines.

Once lines have been properly marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.

Remember -- Know What's Below -- Dial 8-1-1 before you dig!