Call Before You Dig Day August 11

Published 3:09 pm Monday, August 2, 2010

Glassy Mountain Fire Department has joined with the Office of the South Carolina State Fire Marshals, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), to bring attention to the new Call 811 Day Call Before You Dig awareness campaign set for August 11 (8-1-1).

The campaign is to draw attention to the importance of having utility lines marked before digging. Digging without calling the new 811 number can lead to severe consequences including harm to those who dig, costly damages to underground infrastructure and utility service disruptions.

According to the CGA, a recent national survey showed that roughly half of Americans are active diggers who have done (or are planning to do) some type of digging project at home, yet only 33 percent of homeowner do-it-yourselfers called to have their lines marked before starting digging projects, said Bryan G Riebe, chief of Glassy Mountain Fire Department. Simple digging jobs can damage utility lines, which can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers, and potentially result in fines and repair costs. Failure to call before digging has resulted in an average 200,000 unintentional cut lines annually.

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The message here is that it is important that before a homeowner starts any digging project no matter how large or small they should always call 811 to find out whats below. It takes only one free call to 811 to be safe and stay connected, the chief added. Whether youre planting a tree or shrub, installing a deck or pool, every job requires a call to 811.

The new 811 number is a national Call Before You Dig phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to eliminate the confusion of multiple numbers across the country that have been set up to help save lives by minimizing damages to underground utilities.

The call goes to the Common Ground Alliance which then notifies the utility company in the local area. The utility company will then go to the homeowner to mark the location of utility lines.

Its all about making it as easy as possible for the homeowners to stay safe, Chief Riebe said. Before you dig call 811 – know whats below – be safe!

For more information on the national Common Ground Alliance 8-11 Day, go to For South Carolina specific Call811 information, contact the Palmetto Utility Protection Service (P.U.P.S.) at 888-721-7877 or visit