Amid the COVID-19 public health crisis, it is important that homeowners and contractors continue to contact Miss Utility/District One Call by calling 811 or placing an online request before beginning projects that involve digging to maintain utility service and keep communities safe

News Release, Miss Utility

BALTIMORE (March 30, 2020) – In observance of National Safe Digging Month in April, Miss Utility/District One Call – the one-call notification center for Maryland and Washington, D.C. – reminds homeowners and contractors that safe digging must remain a priority to prevent damage to critical utility services — including internet and other communications lines — and keep communities safe. 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and as homeowners are spending more time than ever at home, utilizing Miss Utility/District One Call’s free-of-charge essential public safety service by calling 811 or placing an online request before digging will help residents avoid making circumstances worse by accidentally damaging buried utility lines.

April marks the start of the busy spring digging season, and many homeowners are finding themselves with more time at home to begin home improvement projects that require digging, such as landscaping or installing a mailbox, deck or fence. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged.

“During these unprecedented times, it’s crucial to keep in mind the importance of keeping the public safe and connected to critical utility services in all situations,” said Dora Parks, manager of client relations at Miss Utility/District One Call. “Calling 811 or making a request online at two full working days before any planned home improvement projects that require digging – including common springtime projects like planting trees or installing mailboxes or fences – is a free service and is critical to preventing incidents like service outages and serious injuries. Miss Utility/District One Call and our utility members are essential services, and are in operation to keep the residents of Maryland and Washington, D.C., safe during this public health emergency and throughout the year.”

Everyone in Maryland and Washington, D.C. who makes the free call to 811 or makes a free request online at two working days before digging is connected to Miss Utility/District One Call. After collecting information about the digging project, Miss Utility/District One Call communicates that information to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin hand digging around the marked areas.

As part of National Safe Digging Month, Miss Utility/District One Call encourages homeowners to take the following steps when planning any projects involving digging this spring:

?      Always call 811 or make a request online at a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.

?      Plan ahead. Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.

?      Confirm that all lines have been marked. 

?      Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.

?      If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has called 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.

?      Visit for complete info.

About Miss Utility/District One Call

The Miss Utility notification center is the approved one-call notification center for Miss Utility, (Western Shore Maryland), District One Call, (District of Columbia), and Miss Utility of Delmarva (Eastern Shore Maryland & Delaware). The organization’s purpose is to prevent damage to underground infrastructure by providing one-call services in those areas. Miss Utility also develops educational programs and outreach intended to foster a sense of shared responsibility for the protection of underground facilities during excavation and demolition. For more information, visit

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...