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Dig This: Call 8-1-1 for a Smart Start to Your Digging Project


It’s 8/11, and that’s a good reminder of a key safety requirement for anyone about to start a digging project: Call “8-1-1” at least two business days before you start. Making that call gives utility providers a heads up to come out and clearly mark underground electric, gas, and other utility lines.

Accessing this free service before starting your digging project is an essential step to making it safe, legal, and successful. Whether you’re installing a mailbox, erecting a fence, or embarking on a large-scale construction initiative, for a smart start, be sure to call 8-1-1.

Research by Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes safe digging, found that every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged due to poor planning and preparation. Failure to get utility company mark-up of underground equipment increases the probability of unsafe conditions. Calling 8-1-1 to schedule a free assessment by utility companies allows you to complete a project with less risk of injury, disruption of service, or fines and repair costs.

“We want our customers, contractors, and the community to stay safe on 8/11 and every day of the year,” Kurt Puthe, Manager Safety Field Services for Pepco Holdings, told The Source. “Calling 8-1-1 can also prevent inconvenient outages.”

To learn more or submit marking requests online, visit