Spring is the perfect time for yardwork, which often means digging holes to plant new trees and shrubs. With COVID-19 keeping many residents at home, outdoor DIY projects may rise to the top of your to-do list. As you dig into the list, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) encourages you to “Call 811 Before you Dig!” April is National Safe Digging Month, a reminder to practice responsible, safe digging.
“The weather is perfect right now, and many of us are checking off our spring project list during the extra time at home,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “Adhering to safety measures is a top priority during this public health pandemic, and working outside offers social distancing and exercise. Just remember to be smart and safe: call 811 before all digging projects to protect yourself and others from unintentionally hitting a utility line.”
Hitting an underground utility line while digging can cause serious injuries, disrupt service to entire neighborhoods, and potentially result in fines and repair costs. According to the Common Ground Alliance, every nine minutes an underground utility line is damaged because of someone digging without first calling 811. An 811 call, the federally-designated call-before-you-dig number, notifies affected utilities to dispatch crews to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines to help prevent damages.
In Florida, 811 is managed by Sunshine State One Call Center. Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Make sure you call at least two working days in advance of your “digging” project start date. This gives the utility companies time to find and mark buried lines on your property.
For more information on 811, visit www.call811.com, or access the PSC’s Consumer Tip, 8-1-1 Know What’s Below. April’s Call Before You Dig Campaign is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.