Xcel Energy: Reminds you to “Call Before You Dig”
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Aug.11, 2017) – Today is National 811 Day, and the date serves as a reminder to always call 811 in order to dig safely and lawfully. Whether planting a tree, installing a fence, deck or, or starting any other excavation project, it is essential to call before digging to have the approximate location of underground utilities and pipelines marked.
According to the Common Ground Alliance, there are more than 100 billion feet of underground utilities in the United States, equating to more than one football field’s length of buried utilities for every person in the country. An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes because someone did not call before digging.
Calling 811 is the law, and knowing where pipelines and underground utility lines are buried before digging will help protect everyone from injury. It also helps prevent damage to utilities, service disruptions, potential fines and repair costs.
Every digging job requires a call – even if one has called before for a similar project – because the depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple lines in a common area. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities increases the likelihood of unintentional damage.
When calling 811, consumers will be routed to a local call center. An operator will gather information about digging plans, and notify local pipeline and utility companies about the project. Most states require 48 hours to 72 hours advance notice (excluding weekends and holidays).
Pipeline or underground utility representatives will be sent to mark the approximate location of underground utilities and cables using color-coded paint, flags or stakes to identify what is below ground and where it is safe to dig. If there are no underground utilities, pipelines or cables at the dig location, they will mark “clear.”
More information on digging is available through an 811 representative, and consumers can learn more at www.Call811.com.