The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today announced the availability of a new 811 “Call Before You Dig” number to help save lives and protect Florida’s underground infrastructure. This important safety initiative will prevent homeowners and professional excavators from damaging underground utility lines while digging and causing injury or service outages.
“Calling 811 has the potential to reduce frustrating service outages while saving time, money, and, most importantly, lives,” said PSC Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar. “Florida’s consumers and professional excavators will now be able to call a three-digit number to locate underground facilities with more certainty and efficiency.”
The PSC approved a plan in December 2006 to implement the nationally designated 811 number, designed to eliminate the confusion of multiple “Call Before You Dig” numbers across the country. The quick and efficient service connects callers with Sunshine State One Call of Florida, a non-profit corporation specializing in services to prevent damage to underground utilities. Sunshine State One Call of Florida then notifies the appropriate local utilities, who send crews to the requested site to mark the location of underground lines for free.
A lack of knowledge by the public about the importance of having utility lines marked before digging can result in injury or death, costly damages to underground infrastructure, and utility service disruptions to thousands of people at a time. Now, homeowners and contractors can call one easy-to-remember number to have crews mark a requested site for underground lines prior to any excavation.
Under state and federal law, anyone planning a dig is required to notify the owners of underground facilities and pipelines in the area of the dig at least two days in advance. Consumers can use the 811 number to contact Sunshine State One Call of Florida from a home telephone, cell phone, or a payphone.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida’s consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water and wastewater in a safe, affordable and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com