National Safe Digging Month highlights need to call first - East Valley Tribune: Business

National Safe Digging Month highlights need to call first

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Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 5:54 pm | Updated: 1:34 pm, Fri Apr 11, 2014.

Springtime is in the air. The birds are chirping, the plants are thriving and with that also comes the season of DIY projects.

But hold just a minute before picking up that shovel. Have you called 811 yet?

Don’t let those DIY projects catch you off guard or worse. Last October, a couple was seriously wounded when their Peoria home exploded caused, according to officials, by a leaking gas pipe in their backyard that was unknowingly struck during renovations they were doing.

This is just one example of how a simple phone call to 811 before any digging project could prevent a similar tragedy from occurring.

April marks National Safe Digging Month and we are pleased to use it as a reminder of the importance of 811 – the national number to call any time you plan to dig to get nearby buried utility lines marked.

Did you know that contacting 811 before you dig will increase your chances of a damage free excavation to 99 percent? And did you know half of the people who plan to dig this season, for projects that include planting a tree or building a deck, will not call 811 to have their underground utility lines marked?

Calling 811 is required, by state law, before starting every digging project. It may prevent unnecessary service outages or even worse, a life threatening situation such as the one that occurred last October.

Here’s how it works:

1. One free, simple phone call to 811 two or more working days before you start your digging project makes it easy for Arizona 811 to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Most people can submit a notice at their home themselves using the website.

2. Once you call 811 (or click, you will be asked for the location and description of your digging project.

3. Arizona 811 will notify affected utility companies, who, within two working days, will then send professional locators to the project site to mark the approximate location of their underground lines.

5. Once lines have been marked, roll up those sleeves and carefully dig around the marked areas.

Know what’s below, call before you dig. For more information, please visit

Arizona 811, also known as Arizona Blue Stake, Inc., is a non-profit communication center, which performs excavation notification services and stakeholder education designed to provide for public safety and underground facility damage prevention in accordance with statutory requirements.

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