Allowing time for underground utilities to be marked before digging reduces injury and loss of services
Today, Aug. 11, is 811 Day and serves as a natural reminder for Florida residents and excavators to call 811 two business days before beginning digging to have underground utilities marked. All digging projects – from DIY tasks such as landscaping or installing a mailbox to larger projects requiring excavation equipment – require a call to 811.
Peoples Gas reminds Floridians that the underground network of utility wires, cables and pipelines is often closer to the surface than one might think. Striking one of these underground utility lines while digging could cause the loss of natural gas, electric, water or communications and cable services, injury to the person digging or others, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.
While most digging projects are preplanned and easily allow time to call 811 two business days before starting, some digging work may be unexpected. After severe weather, homeowners are often faced with downed fences and uprooted trees. As part of their post-storm recovery plan, residents should plan to call 811 before removing trees and tree stumps or resetting fences. Don’t run the risk of losing essential services by not having underground utilities marked.
One free, simple phone call to 811 or visit to sunshine811.com makes it easy for Sunshine 811 to notify all appropriate utility companies of upcoming digging projects. Sunshine 811 is a non-profit corporation funded by underground utility owners and operators. The organization began in 1993 with the adoption of the Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act.
Peoples Gas has a team of locators who visit job sites and mark natural gas lines around homes and businesses – but only if there's a call to 811. Here are some tips to remember:
- Call 811 or visit sunshine811.comat least two full business days before digging to make your request, giving utility companies enough time to properly mark lines. When you call 811, you will be asked for the location(s) and description of your digging project.
- Sunshine 811 notifies affected utility companies, who then send a professional locator to mark the approximate location of underground equipment for free.
- Check the Sunshine 811 Positive Response link at sunshine811.comand, once all utilities have responded, roll up those sleeves and dig carefully within 24 inches of any marks in your project area.
- Even if you are not digging, remember to leave any 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.
Peoples Gas System, Florida's largest natural gas distribution utility, serves more than 425,000 customers across the state. Peoples Gas is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.