Spread the word: Aug. 11 is National 811 Day

Phillip Harris

National 811 Day, Thursday, Aug. 11 (or 8/11) is the annual day set aside to remind everyone to always call 811 before starting any digging projects – no matter the size. Line depths vary by utility or state laws, so even the smallest project is worth calling about.

You should always call 811 at least 48 to 72 hours before starting any digging projects, whether planting a vegetable garden, building a fence or installing a new mailbox. When you call, your state’s One-Call center answers and notifies the appropriate utilities of your intent to dig. Within a couple of days later, a professional line locator will arrive at the digging site and mark the locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

You also can use as an online resource to request line location services, find state laws and other safe-digging information.

Quick Facts Regarding 811

  • The annual societal cost of damages to underground infrastructure is $30 billion
  • Nearly two in five (40%) U.S. homeowners will put themselves and their communities at risk this year by digging without calling 811 beforehand
  • 40% of active diggers don’t contact 811 before digging because they think their project is too shallow to require it
  • One third (33%) of U.S. homeowners were affected by a utility service disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic

If these stats don’t help convince you to call 811 before your next digging project, maybe the fact that it’s the law might sway your decision. In addition to the risk of physical harm, you could be fined if you damage property and disrupt utilities services – and that’s in addition to the costs you may be required to pay for repair of any damaged infrastructure.

Take advantage of National 811 Day as an opportunity to share this vital information with everyone you know. By sharing 811, you may save a neighbor, friend or family member from personal injury, service disruption and costly fines.