Spring is here and the time for starting new little projects around the house. Now, while you may be wanting to really dig in (pun intended) to home renovations of some sort, there’s something that you should know: any time you want to dig into the ground, you MUST call before digging, (Call 811) at least 3 days before you start any work. This is the number for Florida Public Utilities, and they will give you information on just what might be underground that you need to be aware of. We’re going to tell you what sort of things might be hiding and the risks of digging without making this call.
What is 811?
This is a good place to start, so let’s explain. 811 is the number that all Florida contractors and homeowners need to call before digging. When they call, they’ll be connected to the Sunshine State one call center that notifies the utility companies. Let them know you’re digging intentions, and they’ll then send out techs to mark any underground utility lines that you need to be aware of, usually using flags or spray paint.
Did you know that every six minutes a utility line is hit by someone who didn’t make this call? Any job that requires any level of digging, whether it be just installing a mailbox or doing some serious landscaping, legally requires a call to this number before starting. This call is free to make, so what’s the harm? Safe digging is the responsibility of everyone because it can affect everyone.
So, what’s the whole reason behind knowing what’s underground where you want to dig? There are plenty of lines that sit underground, running across yards, parking lots, roads, etc. These lines include everything from gas to electric to water and more. Why does this matter? Hitting one of these lines can do some serious damage, so knowing where they are means you can avoid them and those costly mistakes.
- If you hit an electrical line, there’s the chance of knocking out service to the entire area. Even worse, you could do some real damage to yourself. Electrocution is a terrible thing to endure, and hitting those wires is a surefire way to let that happen.
- If you hit a gas line, you could create a major leak. This puts you and all of those around you in serious danger. There’s the risk of a spark creating a fire, as well as health risks from inhalation.
- Hit a sewer line and you can create a very nasty flood along with possible noxious gasses.
- If there’s a water line hit, then there will be flooding and interruptions in other people’s water service.
Why Should I Call?
Firstly, it’s the law. No matter what kind of project, big or small, you legally have to call before digging.
Secondly, if you hit any one of these lines there will be repercussions, physical or financial. You could be faced with fines, injury, outages in service, repair costs, and more.
There are so many dangers that come from digging without knowing what you’re around. Calling this 811 number will allow utility techs to come out and show you where all of those lines are, as well as how deep they are underground. These lines can be a little as a few inches under the surface, so knowing the depth is crucial. The depth of these lines can even vary over time, so just because you knew them during one project doesn’t mean they’ll be the same for this new one. Making this call will help keep you and your neighbors safe, so dig responsibly and remember to call 811 before getting started!
While we supply many many contractors in our local area, we also help homeowners as well. Make the call and save yourself the headache of causing damage or losing internet. We have all the supplies you need to make your next project safe and easy. We have full supply in stock of PPE as well as lots of power equipment.