With warmer days and longer evenings, it’s prime time for planting and other outdoor projects — and a perfect time to remind homeowners to always call 811 before digging.
Throughout April, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas and other utilities are promoting National Safe Digging Month, a campaign designed to remind Florida’s residents of the complex network of wires, cables and pipelines located underground. Striking one of these utility lines while digging could injure homeowners 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 — it is important to call 811 before every digging project. An estimated 170,000 underground utilities are damaged annually across the nation, and one out of every three incidents results from not calling 811.
Here’s how it works:
♦ One free phone call to 811 makes it easy for Sunshine 811 to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.
♦ The call should be placed 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 Saturday, you must call no later than Wednesday.
♦ Callers will be asked for the location and description of the digging project.
♦ When Sunshine 811 notifies affected utility companies, a professional locator is sent to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of underground equipment. Once lines have been properly marked, residents can dig carefully within 24 inches of any marks in the project area.
Visit www.sunshine811.com for more information.