Arkansas (Aug. 10, 2018) – August 11 marks National 811 Day. To celebrate, Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Company (AOG) is reminding Arkansas and Oklahoma residents and contractors to call 811 to have underground utility lines marked prior to any project that requires digging, excavation or driving materials, like fence posts, into the ground. Every hour, more than six buried utilities are damaged nationally because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
“At AOG, safety is our top priority. On August 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to help avoid striking an underground utility line,” said Jason Weekley, Chief Operations Officer. “It is one of the best ways to know where utilities are buried in your area.”
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to a free local one call center, which notifies utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.
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, there is still a risk of striking an underground utility line.