Okay, you need to remember one more three digit phone number next to 911 and 411. On May 1st, the FCC will officially designate the number 811 as the phone number you should call before you dig. Even if you are doing a small job like planting a tree, you owe it to your community and for your own safety to call this number. I promise you, if you’ve ever hit a water line in your life, it’s an experience you will never forget. Calling the 811 phone number from anywhere in the country routes your call to your local One Call Center. From there, operators ask the location of your digging job and forward your call to the appropriate utility companies. The utility companies can then send a professional locator to your site to mark lines. As it stands right now, failure to call results in nearly 700,000 damages each year or one unintentional hit per minute. These unintentional hits often result in injury, service outages, repairs, and big penalty fines. The Common Ground Alliance has put together a great website about the launch, but if you take away one thing from this posting, let it be: Call 811 before you dig.

Call 811