An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA) (link is external). The CGA, the association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them, collects information from utility owners throughout the United States to measure the scope of damages nationwide.
Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries and costly repairs.
Buried Utilities Are Everywhere
The ground you walk, drive and play on every day covers an incredible amount of buried utilities. In fact, there are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States, according to data compiled by CGA from various industry groups. That figure equates to more than one football field’s length (105 yards) of buried utilities for every man, woman and child in the U.S.
To know what’s below, always call 811 before digging!
Reduce Your Risk
Making a call to 811 is the easiest way to make sure you keep your communities safe and connected. Data shows that when you call 811 the appropriate amount of time before digging, you have a less than 1% chance of striking a buried utility line.
Don’t Make A Judgment Call – Call 811
A survey conducted in March 2015 revealed that homeowners who plan to dig this year for projects such as landscaping, installing a fence or mailbox, or building a deck, pond or patio, will put themselves and their communities at risk by not calling 811 a few days beforehand to learn the approximate location of underground utilities. Extrapolated to the full population of U.S. homeowners, approximately 38.6 million people will dig this year without first having underground utility lines marked.
You can obtain information on how 811 works by logging onto Call811.