Always Call Before You Dig!

Always Call Before You Dig!

Always Call Before You Dig!

April usually starts off with the jokes, but some things are no laughing matter. Take digging into an underground utility line for example. The result can be a mild inconvenience or something as severe as electrocution. And all of this can be prevented by a simple call to 811 – the national call-before-you-dig phone number.

There are many spring projects that we’ve been waiting months to begin and a lot of them involve some type of digging. That’s why April is recognized as National Safe Digging Month (NSDM). It’s the perfect time to raise awareness about the importance of using 811.

Before you begin digging, follow the steps below to ensure a safe experience:

  1. Submit a request – Call 811 at least three full business days before digging to submit a locate request. You can also submit a request at
  2. Wait for utilities – Utilities will send someone out to mark the lines within three business days of submitting the request.
  3. Check the request status – After three days, call 811 to check for a positive response. If you’ve created an online account at, you can check your status there.
  4. Dig Safely – After verifying that all parties have responded and marked the underground utilities, it’s OK to begin digging. It’s important to wait until all utilities have been marked as requested before digging.

That’s all there is to it!

While you’re in a digging frame of mind, April 29 is Arbor Day, which is a great opportunity to plant a tree. Trees do so much more than add curb appeal. They can also:

  • Reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Increase property value.
  • Create sound barriers.
  • Help reduce stress.

Whether you’re doing something as simple as digging a post hole or something more ambitious like planting a tree, it’s always necessary to call 811 before you dig. Visit for more information.

Author Jeff Straight

Jeff Straight

As a 15-year veteran of the utility industry, Jeff began his career as a call taker. Those countless hours of listening to customer concerns helped mold him into the communications professional he is today. He grew up in West Virginia and graduated from his hometown college, Fairmont State, in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in communications. He is a drummer of 30 years and enjoys entertaining people from the stage as well as the keyboard.

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