Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 10, 2013

Aug. 11 serves as reminder to call before you dig

Greensburg Daily News

---- — EVANSVILLE — In an effort to remind residents to dial 8-1-1 before digging, Aug. 11 has been designated National Call Before You Dig awareness day.

Not only does it ensure the safety of all involved, but it is the law to inform local utility companies regarding the intent to dig at least two full days prior by calling the national 811 free service. After telling the 811 operator where the digging will take place and the type of work involved, the approximate location of buried lines, pipes and cables will be marked.

Throughout 2012, Vectren Energy Delivery (Vectren) responded to roughly 1,300 damages to underground lines and pipes due to digging in unmarked areas.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a prior call to 811.

“Calling 811 is easy, free and can ultimately save a life,” said Mike Roeder, Vectren vice president of government affairs and president of Vectren Energy Delivery North. “Failure to call before digging results in more than 150,000 unintentional hits annually across the U.S. We hope by educating our customers, together we can keep one another safe while driving that statistic down.”

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects, and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

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