MAINE – August 11 marks National 811 Day. Summit Natural Gas of Maine is reminding Maine residents and contractors to call 811 to have underground utility lines marked prior to starting any project that requires digging, excavation or driving materials, like fence posts, into the ground. According to 811, every nine minutes someone damages an underground utility line because no one called to have underground utility lines located before digging.
“At Summit, safety is our top priority. On August 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to help avoid striking an underground utility line,” said Jason Weekley, Chief Operations Officer. “Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. An easy call to 811 is the best way to know where utilities are buried in your area.”
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to Dig Safe®, the free local one call center, which notifies utility companies of an 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.
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects where homeowners and contractors need to call to 811.
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, there is a risk of striking an underground utility line.