CHARLESTON, WV (NEWS RELEASE) — Governor Jim Justice has issued a proclamation announcing April as Safe Digging Month. Governor Justice and the Public Service Commission of West Virginia encourage all West Virginians to call 811 before every digging project.
“As the temperature rises and our lawns and gardens start to grow, we find ourselves planning outdoor projects,” said Governor Justice. “By calling 811 before digging, homeowners and professionals are making a conscious effort to ensure their personal safety and prevent unnecessary utility service interruptions. Whether you are planting a tree, building a deck or just putting in a new mailbox, all digging projects should start with a call to 811.”
811 is a free utility line location service that protects you and your neighbors’ safety and the integrity of underground utility lines near your home. When you call 811 you will be connected to a local notification center that will take your information and communicate it to utility companies in your area. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint or flags of various colors marking the different utilities. If a contractor is doing the work, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.
If outdoor projects that require digging are in your spring plans, call 811 at least two full work days before you dig. If you do hit a buried utility line, especially gas, call 911 immediately. Utility lines, including water, sewer and gas pipelines as well as communication lines can be just a few inches below the surface because of erosion and other topography changes. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities increases the likelihood of unintentional damage, service disruptions, costly repairs, serious injuries and even death. Don’t assume you know where the utility lines are located.
After the marking has been done you can begin your project with confidence. In West Virginia, you can also call 800-245-4848 or visit www.WV811.com for more information.