Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 13:14 EDT

Aug. 11 (8/11) Serves as Natural Reminder for Americans to Always Call 811 Before Digging

August 8, 2012

WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Every three minutes this year someone will dig and hit an underground gas, electric, communications, water or sewer line, putting themselves and their communities at risk, according to recent reports compiled by Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the “Call 811 Before You Dig” campaign.

With Aug. 11 almost here, CGA hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for all Americans to make a free call to 811 a few days before digging to have the approximate location of nearby underground utility lines marked. The same CGA reports show the odds of a person digging and hitting or damaging a utility line are less than 1 percent just by making this free phone call.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a rural mailbox, building a deck and planting trees are all examples of digging projects that necessitate a call to 811 before starting.

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to protect themselves and their communities,” said CGA President Bob Kipp. “We hope the ’8/11 Day’ message will resonate with the American public, leading to a reduction in the amount of damage done to underground utilities and an increase in safety.”

Visit http://www.call811.com for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

About CGA

CGA is a member-guided association of nearly 1,400 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at http://www.commongroundalliance.com.

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Khrysanne Kerr

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SOURCE Common Ground Alliance

Source: PR Newswire