Governor Bill Haslam has issued a proclamation announcing April as Tennessee Safe Digging Month. The proclamation reminds Tennessee homeowners and professional excavators to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging project.
April marks the start of spring digging season, so Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District, Tennessee 811 and Governor Haslam are encouraging homeowners to call 811 before they dig to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. A utility line is damaged by digging once every three minutes nationwide, and one-third of these incidents are caused by failure of the professional excavator or homeowner to call 811 before beginning their digging project.
When calling 811, homeowners and professional excavators are connected to Tennessee 811, which notifies the appropriate utility of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin around the marked lines.
”We join the governor in strongly encouraging individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said Kathy Quartermaine, Damage Prevention & Education Manager at Tennessee 811. “By having underground lines marked, homeowners are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, necessitates a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting. There is no charge for the phone call or locating the utilities.