News Release

TECO Peoples Gas and Tampa Electric remind homeowners to call 811 before digging

April is National Safe Digging Month; Call for free service before you start any size project in your yard

TAMPA, April 15, 2014

With warmer days and longer evenings, it’s prime time for planting and other outdoor projects – and it’s a perfect time to remind homeowners to always call 811 before digging.

Throughout April, Sunshine 811, Peoples Gas, Tampa Electric and other utilities are promoting National Safe Digging Month. The campaign is designed to remind Florida’s residents of the complex network of wires, cables and pipelines located underground. Striking one of these underground utility lines while digging could injure you or others, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.

No matter the size of the project – from simple landscaping like planting trees or shrubs, to placing a fence or installing a mailbox – you must call 811 before every digging project. There are 170,000 underground utilities damaged annually across the nation, and one out of every three incidents is the result of not calling 811.

Here’s how it works :

  • One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for Sunshine 811 to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.
  • Call at least two full business days before digging to give utility companies enough time to properly mark their lines. (That means if you’re digging on Saturday, you must call no later than Wednesday.)
  • When you call 811, you will be asked for the location and description of your digging project.
  • Sunshine 811 notifies affected utility companies who then send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of underground equipment.
  • Once lines have been properly marked, roll up those sleeves and dig carefully within 24 inches of any marks in your project area. Don’t remove flags or markings on your property – you might not be aware of a nearby project.

Visit for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process. You also can visit and for more safety tips.

Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities, and TECO Peoples Gas System, Florida’s largest natural gas distribution utility, are part of the TECO Energy family of companies. Tampa Electric serves almost 700,000 customers in West Central Florida, and Peoples Gas serves almost 350,000 customers in most of Florida’s major metropolitan areas and beyond. TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE) is an energy-related holding company with regulated electric and gas utility operations in Florida. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal-production facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

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