Tyler Today — February-March 2015
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Know What’s Below Call Before You Dig!
Scott Finley

It’s still cold outside – but if you’re like us at Texas811, you’re looking forward to those coming spring days, when your thoughts turn to getting back outside and doing some home improvement projects. Planting a new azalea flowerbed, setting out rose bushes and maybe finally erecting or repairing that long neglected fence, are all projects with one common theme – you’re going to have to dig a hole in the ground.

While you can see what’s above ground, do you have any idea of what’s down there that you can’t see? (Hint – it’s not buried pirate treasure!) That’s where the 811 number comes in. We at Texas811 are part of the nationally mandated Call Before You Dig 811 system, headquartered at call811.com. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that the 811 number is set aside nationally for ANYONE planning a dig to call first – from fence builder, to contractor, to excavator, to homeowner – so that any buried lines in the dig area can be marked, flagged and safeguarded by any relevant utilities.

The call is free, and the service is free. If that’s not enough, it’s also the law.

No matter where you are in the nation, dial 811 and you will automatically be sent to the nearest 811 call center. They will take your dig site information and contact the relevant utilities. In turn, the utilities will send out a person or team to mark and/or flag the approximate location of their buried lines, alerting you to what’s below. When you return to put up that fence, plant those roses or set out those azaleas, you’ll see markings, telling you where NOT to dig.

Take our word for it, and the word of ALL 811 call centers: there is no worse feeling than accidentally cutting through a buried pipeline or telecommunications cable. It’s embarrassing, it’s expensive, and in the case of buried petroleum, gas or electric mains, it can be fatal, too. Too many homeowners think that just because they aren’t using a large backhoe, or are digging by hand with a shovel, there is no need to call 811. Wrong!

A rented auger, post hole diggers or even a simple hand held shovel can cut through or puncture a buried line. The resulting accident cost is just as embarrassing, just as expensive – and, if it’s gas or electric that you hit, you’re just as dead.

Did one of your Tyler friends send you this copy of TYLER TODAY Magazine to enjoy in another state and you’re not sure where your nearest call center is? Follow the link to the national call center state by state listings: call811.com/ state-specific

Everyone at your local 811 center wishes you safe digging, and a great spring season of home improvement!