Residents should call 811 before digging to prevent property damage, injuries

Sunday’s date of Aug. 11 is a reminder for everyone to call the national “Call Before You Dig” number – 811 – prior to any digging project.

One free call to 811 before digging can prevent injuries, property damage, service disruption and possible costly fines for damaged infrastructure.

“On this day and throughout the year, we continue to remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” stated Ashley Babcock, director of Damage Prevention and Public Awareness for CenterPoint Energy, in a news release. “The cause of many underground utility damages is not digging properly. The only physical way to know what’s below is to call and have the buried utilities in your area of excavation marked. Not only is it a free call and service, it is also the law.”

By calling 811, a homeowner connects to a one call center, which then notifies the appropriate utility companies of the homeowner’s intent to dig. Professional locators are sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and spray paint, enabling the homeowner to dig safely.

The depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. Whether it is a small project like planting a tree, or a larger one such as hiring a professional to install a lawn irrigation system, smart digging means calling 811 before each job, CenterPoint Energy reported. For more information, visit

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