Miss Utility/District One Call encourages people to make a free request two full business days before digging to avoid damaging buried utilities

News Release, Miss Utility

BALTIMORE (Aug. 5, 2020) – Aug. 11 is almost here, and Miss Utility/District One Call hopes that the 8/11 date on the calendar will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. With more people at home during pandemic restrictions, and summer a peak time to work on home improvement projects, it’s more timely than ever that residents remember to dig safely.

Every few minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first contacting Miss Utility/District One Call by dialing 8-1-1 or visiting MissUtility.net. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, inconvenient outages and fines. With more people staying home and relying on their utilities to work and communicate, inconvenient outages are important to avoid. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants contacting 811 by phone or online. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are just some examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors in Maryland and D.C. are connected to Miss Utility/District One Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Requests can also be made online at www.MissUtility.net. Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to use the free 811 service before digging to reduce the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Scott Brown, Washington Gas Damage Prevention and chair of the Miss Utility board of directors. “Especially at a time when we’re relying on important utilities to connect us and keep us safe at home, contacting Miss Utility/District One Call by dialing 811 or visiting www.MissUtility.net is really the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area so that you dig safely.”

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 or digging in a location that’s previously been marked, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

Visit www.MissUtility.net for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.