Calling 811 before digging is the single easiest step you can take toward reducing the chance of causing damage to buried utilities. Help us celebrate 8/11 Day by reminding everyone – including homeowners and professionals – just how important calling 811 before digging is.
National Safe Digging Day | 811 Day
Contact Georgia 811 Before You Dig - How it Works
811 is the national number to call before any digging project, large or small, and in Georgia 811 can even be conveniently reached online. Georgia 811’s comprehensive notification and education services exist to prevent utility line interruption and damage as well as personal injury before a dig begins.
Contacting Georgia 811 starts a critical process that should precede any outdoor digging project. It may appear obvious to notify 811 before a large scale undertaking, but many homeowners are unaware that even seemingly small projects that break ground still require notification.
67% of U.S. homeowners don’t believe they would hit utility lines during a household digging project. However, an underground utility line is damaged every three minutes nationwide, and nearly 1,000 damages are reported to Georgia 811 each month. Damage to underground lines can result in service interruptions, costly repair bills and fines. Hitting a line can be even more disastrous, potentially causing serious harm to the digger and other individuals. Small weekend projects such as planting trees or shrubbery, digging a pool or installing a mailbox or sprinkler system can quickly become a significant problem if the digger does not inform Georgia 811 beforehand. Georgia 811 is a free service, and the process is simple: contact, wait then safely dig.
The homeowner or excavator would first contact Georgia 811 at least two business days prior to digging. To notify, the digger can visit Georgia811.com, click “Submit/Manage Request” from the top menu and can then chose to create a request for a single address or multiple addresses (a short online training class is required to use the multiple request option). The digger also has the option to instead call 811 and specify the location and description of the digging site to an 811 customer service rep. Georgia 811 additionally recommends white lining the excavation site to further simplify the process.
After using either method to contact Georgia 811, the wait begins and the homeowner or excavator will get a request number for tracking on EDEN PRIS (Positive Response Information System). PRIS is the system used to track and update locate requests through Georgia811.com or the Georgia 811 app. At this point 811 will notify the affected member utility companies of the intent to dig. On average, 8 utility member companies are notified. These companies then send professional locate technicians to identify and mark the approximate locations of underground lines with colored paint or flags. A color guide for the different types of utility flags and markings is available at http://georgia811.com/index.php/have-my-lines-been-marked/.
Once all relevant member utility companies have responded to PRIS, the homeowner or excavator may begin safely digging. The digger should respect the flags and markings by making sure to always dig around them. Some utility lines may not be far beneath the surface, so allowing adequate room and steering clear of the marked areas is key.
Contacting Georgia 811 at least 2 days before breaking ground is simple, free and ensures peace of mind during a project. Digging safely is the final step in the 811 process, but diggers should call 811 during the planning stages of any future projects that require digging. Over time, root system changes and erosion can shift utility line locations, so it’s important to contact Georgia 811 every time.
For more information on Georgia’s “Dig Law”, the Georgia Facilities Protection Act, visit the Georgia Public Service Commission’s web site at psc.state.ga.us/. Georgia 811 can be reached with any process related questions by dialing 811 or emailing CustomerConnections@georgia811.com.
Karley Millender | Marketing | Web and User Interface Design