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Top 3 mistakes people make before starting a project that requires digging

If you are a homeowner planting a tree, a contractor installing a fence, or a utility worker repairing underground pipes, not contacting 811 can have serious consequences.

It is important to Know what’s below.

Contacting 811 before digging is essential for safety and to avoid damaging underground utility lines. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of not calling before digging, which can result in serious injuries, property damage, and costly repairs.

Here are the top three mistakes people make before digging:

Assuming there are no utility lines in the area
One of the biggest mistakes people make is assuming that there are no underground utility lines in the area they plan to dig. This can be a costly mistake, as there are often hidden utility lines such as gas, electric, water, and sewer lines that may not be visible on the surface. Hitting one of these lines can lead to dangerous accidents, service disruptions, and expensive repairs.
Not giving enough notice
Another common mistake is not giving enough notice before digging. Many people assume that they only need to contact 811 a day or two before they plan to start digging.
Be sure to provide a 2 – 10 full working day notice, not counting the day of notification, prior to the proposed start of excavation.
Not following/respecting the markings
After you've contacted 811, utility companies will come out and mark the location of their lines with paint or flags. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not following these markings or disregarding them entirely. It's essential to understand what each color means and to avoid digging within the marked areas. Ignoring these markings can result in damage to underground utilities and, in turn, dangerous accidents and service disruptions. Contacting 811 before digging is critical to decrease the chances of damaging underground utilities and ensuring public safety.

Remember to assume that there are utility lines in the area, give enough notice, and follow the markings.