Crimson Pipeline Reminds Residents to Call 811 Before You Dig
2014-08-12 · By Editor
Crimson Pipeline calls attention to Monday’s date, 8/11, and hopes it will serve as a reminder for residents to call 811 prior to embarking on any digging project. Every eight minutes an underground utility line is damaged due to the carelessness of an individual digging without first calling 811.
The 811 program, also known as Dig Alert, is a free service sponsored by the Common Ground Alliance that helps users determine the location of utilities when undertaking any excavation project, regardless of size, to help prevent damage to underground utilities, possible injury, and other property damage. Calling 811 is the law in California and must be done two working days prior to any excavation project in order to have underground utility lines marked.
“Using the free 811 Dig Alert service prior to any digging is vitally important as digging accidents occur more often than most people realize. Buried utilities can exist anywhere on a property. Puncturing a pipe is dangerous and costly and can be totally avoided with this free service,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino.
Pipelines can be located anywhere, including under streets or sidewalks or in the front or back yards of private residences, sometimes just inches below the surface. 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. Excavation, planting, demolition and other forms of digging are major causes of pipeline and utility damage.
“It is of the utmost importance that homeowners and professional contractors alike call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility, like an oil pipeline,” said Larry Alexander, president of Crimson Pipeline. “The fact of the matter is it’s difficult to know what is below without having these lines marked, and it is dangerous to begin any digging project without that information.”
Dig Alert can be reached from anywhere in the country by dialing 811 between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). An operator will collect all of the necessary information about the digging project and will coordinate with utility companies in the area to come to the proposed dig site and mark the locations of underground pipelines with flags or spray paint. And, they do it for free. To utilize the service, businesses and homeowners should call Dig Alert at least two business days prior to digging.