National Safe Digging Month
Release date: April 1, 2017
WEST MIFFLIN, PA--April marks the tenth annual National Safe Digging Month, reminding Pennsylvania residents to always dial 8-1-1 three business days before any digging project. National Safe Digging Month is formally recognized by the Governor of PA, the PA Senate and the PA House of Representatives and has traditionally earned the support from nearly every state governor across the country.
When dialing 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors are connected to Pennsylvania 811, the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both.
Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first dialing 8-1-1. Striking a single line can cause injury, incur repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox post, building a deck and planting a tree are examples of digging projects that should begin with a call to 8-1-1.
“As April marks the traditional start of digging season, we are using this month to strongly encourage individuals and companies to dial 8-1-1 before they begin digging,” said Bill Kiger, President & CEO. “By dialing 8-1-1 three business days in advance to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”
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, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists. Pennsylvania 811 encourages area residents to visit www.pa811.org or www.pa1call.org for more information about digging safely.