Friday is 8/11 Day, a reminder to contact 811 before digging

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Indiana 811 is celebrating 8/11 Day on Friday, as a reminder to contact them before digging.

Anna Trim, marketing and public relations account coordinator for MGH, said Indiana 811 hopes the 8/11 date on the calendar will serve as a timely reminder to homeowners and professional excavators.

“Always contact 811 before digging to avoid hitting vital buried utilities,” Trim said. “Regardless of size and scope, contacting 811 is an essential first step to any digging project.”

Hoosiers should contact Indiana 811 at least two full working days prior to beginning any digging project to have underground utility lines marked.

According to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, 2,156 natural gas lines were damaged across Indiana in 2022 due to digging and excavation-related work, which means on average, nearly six natural gas lines were damaged every day.

Striking a single utility line can result in costly damages and fines, inconvenient outages, dangerous leaks, environmental damage, serious injury and sometimes even death.

Every digging project, no matter how large or small, should start with the free 811 service by contacting indiana811.org or by calling 811.

Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting trees, shrubs or flowers, removing a tree stump and laying a patio are just some examples of digging projects that require contacting 811 before starting. With utility lines often buried just inches below the ground’s surface, even seemingly minor projects can lead to catastrophe if 811 is not contacted before digging.

Homeowners and contractors start the 811 process by submitting information about planned digging either at indiana811.org or by phone at 811. Indiana 811 will notify the appropriate member utility companies, which will dispatch professional utility locators to the requested dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with colored paint and/or flags.

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. While a homeowner or professional may think they know where underground utilities are buried, the only way to know for sure is to contact 811, which is fast, easy and free.

Visit indiana811.org to submit a ticket to have your underground lines located, and be sure to check out 811U, an online educational portal for all things safe digging, indiana811.org/811U.

Indiana 811 also is the sponsor of this year’s Indiana State Fair, so fairgoers can take a walk through the fairgrounds until Aug. 22 to see the 811 Before You Dig message on sky carts, hand sanitizer stations, sidewalk signs and the iconic Midway Arch.

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