Getting ready to do an outdoor project that involves digging? Before starting that project, before putting a shovel to dirt, learn about and practice safe digging. YOU MUST CALL 811 BEFORE EVERY DIGGING PROJECT! It’s free and it’s the law!
The month of April is dedicated to increasing awareness of safe digging practices across the country and helping to prevent resulting damages, costs, and injuries. From simple landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs, to building a deck or addition, digging should be safe and accident free.
Did you know?
- A call MUST be placed to 811, Arizona 811, before every digging project?
- Utilities may be buried only a few inches underground making them easy to hit during shallow digging projects?
- When utility lines are hit, injuries, property damage, and inconvenient outages can result?
- More than 250,000 underground utility lines are struck each year in the U.S.?
- An estimated 40% of all U.S. digging damages are a result of failure to call 811?
- You may be held responsible for damages if you fail to have your utility lines properly located before digging?
Ensuring safe digging is quick and simple. Call 811, Arizona 811, at least two business days (excluding weekends and holidays) before any digging project. Then,
- A representative from Arizona 811 will ask for the location and the description of your digging project;
- Arizona 811 will notify affected utility companies, who will send a professional locator to the proposed dig site; and
- At no cost to you, the professional locator will mark the approximate location of the underground, utility-owned lines.
Once the utility lines have been completely marked or cleared you may begin carefully hand digging around the marked areas.
Be aware that you may own underground gas lines and/or electric wiring that you are responsible for locating.
It is important to know that natural gas piping and electric wiring from the meter to the home/building and equipment/appliances belongs to the property owner and IS NOT MARKED BY THE UTILITY COMPANY. This “Customer-owned” gas piping and electric wiring is the property-owner’s responsibility to maintain, locate and avoid when digging. This includes the piping and electric wiring to your outdoor appliances, as well (lights, grills, pool heaters, etc.).
Utility companies, including the City of Mesa’s Energy Resources Department, maintain and mark only what they own. Typically, this means they will only mark up to the utility meter. Plumbing professionals, heating and cooling contractors, and electricians can assist with locating and maintaining customer-owned underground facilities, and any digging must be done by hand. If you have any questions regarding your responsibilities for locating and maintaining customer-owned facilities, please call the Energy Resources Department at 480-644-4552. For excavators and contractors, the City of Mesa’s Energy Resources Department offers free damage prevention training.
Know what’s below!
Call 811 before you dig!