FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- It's 811 Day in Fairfield County and all of Connecticut. Aug. 11 serves as the reminder to call 811 before digging in your yard.
Call Before You Dig Inc. hopes this date, 8/11, will serve as a reminder for residents to call 811 before any digging projects to have underground utility lines marked to avoid unintentionally hitting them.
Call Before You Dig is a nonprofit organization made up of all public utility companies and municipalities within Connecticut. CBYD is a free service that provides homeowners and professional excavators with a toll free call by dialing 8-1-1 for locating and marking underground facilities by its members. Calling CBYD before you dig is the law in Connecticut.
When calling 811, the federally mandated national "Call Before You Dig" number, homeowners are connected to Call Before You Dig Inc., the local one-call center in Hamden, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Call Before You Dig requires a call two full working days before the planned project start date.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence or basketball hoop, building a deck and planting trees are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.
“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Bill Petersen, Call Center Manager. “Failure to call before digging results in more than 250,000 unintentional hits annually, and we do not want anyone’s project to become part of the national statistic.”
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, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.