CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Do you know what Monday is?  It’s Aug. 11, but for the folks at the utility companies it’s also 811 or Call Before You Dig Day.

Tom Taylor, the executive director of 811, said whether it’s a professional or just a homeowner, there’s always the need to call 811 to find out if it’s safe to dig.

“If you’re out there to dig a hole to plant a tree, a mailbox, a post, a fence line, you don’t know what’s in the ground. It could be a gas line, an electric line, a water line, a telephone line,” explained Taylor.

Digging is dangerous if people don’t know what’s underneath that shovel.

“It happens every day, that’s the problem. It happens every day around the nation and sometimes there are injuries and fatalities involved,” said Taylor. “That’s what we’re trying to prevent.”

So how deep is too deep to dig on your own? Taylor said, in some cases, telephone lines can be as close as one inch below the surface. As for old gas lines, erosion can take a pipe that was once buried 40 inches deep and bring it to just a couple inches below the grass line.

“I think anything beyond just a couple inches, like planting flowers, qualifies for someone to call before they dig,” according to Taylor.

“It’s a free call. It’s a free service. The utilities come out and they locate their lines. They paint the ground with the proper colors and you know where the lines are before you start digging.”

As part of the campaign, Taylor said they’re sponsoring 811 Day at Appalachian Power Park Monday evening. Free t-shirts will be given away and some experts will be on hand to answer questions about digging.

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Comments

  • Isis

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  • Dumb Liberals

    The only thing I see missing from this "event" is it has no bite. Does WV have a law requiring a 48hrs lead time call? Does WV have a law that requires all utilities to comply with and mark the underground utilities with in that 48 hrs time frame? Otherwise, this is just a feel good free t-shirt event. Yawn! Next.

  • The Answer

    I had the same problem, as Stoney, with Mtneer Gas.
    I called 5 days straight, nothing.
    So I went ahead with my new water line.
    They did come and fix the leak I reported the next day.

  • Question

    I had wonderful service when I called. Lines were painted and flags were put up in less than 24 hours. It was very helpful. The water, sewer and gas lines were all marked.

  • Question

    I had wonderful service when I called. Lines were painted and flags were put up in less than 24 hours. It was very helpful.

  • Stoney

    We called this number for marking, like we were supposed to. Water, phone, and power companies came out and marked lines. Nothing from Mtneer Gas, which is the line we really need to know about. After 3 weeks, called again...no gas co. Finally, a third call to this number and they told us that if it's on private property, most utilities ignore you, and that we were lucky to have gotten the cooperation that we had. So...when we start digging in a couple of weeks, we'll call Mountaineer Gas and let them know we're doing it that day, and they need to be here. Be warned, this 'free service' is extremely unreliable.