RICHMOND — Saturday, August 11 is National 811 Day
and serves as a reminder to all homeowners and professional excavators of the importance
of calling 811 before beginning any digging or demolishing project.
A simple and free call to 811 connects you to Miss Utility of Virginia, which notifies
the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. From there, utility locators
come to your project area in the time allowed by law to mark the approximate location
of the underground utility lines by means of paint, stakes, or flags. Once marked,
hand digging is required within 24 inches of these marks.
The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is the agency responsible for enforcing the
Virginia Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act. SCC Utility and Railroad Safety
Division Director Massoud Tahamtani says, “On August 11 and throughout the year
homeowners and contractors alike are reminded to call 811 before digging to prevent
damage to underground utility lines.”
Underground utility lines provide many vital utility services to our homes and businesses.
According to Tahamtani, “Whenever an underground utility line is damaged, the consequences
can be far-reaching and can include personal injury or worse. Also at stake are
environmental damage, economic loss, and disruption of vital utility services that
we use on a daily basis.” He added, “Damaging an underground utility line can lead
to liability claims and civil penalties against the responsible party.”
Miss Utility of Virginia is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding
legal state and national holidays. However, emergency notifications can be made
365 days a year, 24-hours-a-day.
Virginia’s C.A.R.E. message reminds you to call Miss Utility at 811 and avoid damage
to underground utility lines. C.A.R.E. means:
- Call Miss Utility
at 811 before you dig.
- Allow the required
time for marking.
- Respect and
protect the marks.
- Excavate carefully.
To learn more about “Digging with C.A.R.E.” and Virginia’s damage prevention program,
contact the SCC’s Division of Utility and Railroad Safety at (804) 371-9980, or
visit the division’s website at www.scc.virginia.gov/urs/mutility/index.aspx.