Safe Digging is Always In Season

Did you know a complex network of wires, cables and pipelines is located underground? Striking one of these underground utility lines while digging could result in interruptions of natural gas, electric, water or communications and cable services, injuries to yourself or others, and fines of up to $2,500 as well as repair costs.

One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for Sunshine 811 to notify utility companies of your intent to dig. Peoples Gas has a team of locators who visit job sites and mark our natural gas lines around homes and businesses – but only if there’s a call to 811 to let us know. Our locators responded to more than 570,000 requests to locate and mark underground lines in 2023. However, about half of the 1,700 instances of damage to our natural gas system last year were situations where no call was made to 811 to mark the area.

Here are some tips for contractors, excavators and homeowners to remember:

  • Call 811 or visit com at least two full business days before digging to make your request, giving utility companies enough time to properly mark lines. Be prepared to provide the location and description of your digging project.

  • The contractor doing the work is responsible for contacting 811 to request property be located and marked. Sunshine 811 recommends that all excavators request their own tickets.

  • Sunshine 811 notifies affected utility companies, which then send a professional locator to mark the approximate location of underground equipment for free.
  • Check the status of your request at Sunshine 811 and, once all utilities have responded by marking the site or giving the all-clear, roll up those sleeves and dig carefully within 24 inches of either side of any marks in your project area.
  • Even if you are not digging, remember to leave all markers – paint or flags – in place. They are a sign of work that may be coming soon to your area by a utility or contractor.

This spring, before you dig into yard work and DIY projects, visit Sunshine 811 and for more information about safe digging.

Building a deck_web.jpgDIY projects like building or repairing a deck require a call to 811 two days before starting to dig.