Spring is finally here! With the snow melted and the ground ready for planting, eager 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 Tennessee’s call-before-you-dig number, to ensure that your buried utility lines are marked.
April is National Safe Digging Month, and Tennessee’s electric cooperatives want to remind our members that a complex network of pipelines, wires and cables lies just underground. 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 should be placed to 811 before every digging project, from simple landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs, to building a deck or installing a rural mailbox. Every nine minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. Don’t become part of the statistic – make sure to call 811!
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 a few days 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, like your local electric cooperative, who will then each 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.