Whether you are prepping your backyard for a neighborhood barbecue or putting in a pool to beat the heat, it is important to do it safely.
August 11 marks National 811 Day. If yardwork is on your to-do list this summer, it’s imperative to take a few steps to plan and prepare. On this year’s National 811 Day, we remind the community to Call Before You Dig. Calling 811, or placing a request online before digging, is a crucial safety measure to prevent accidents, injuries and damage to utility lines. This is a free service to ensure the lines and the people working and living near them are safe. What is not free is damage to the utility lines, and associated fines, caused by digging without calling before marking the underground utility lines.
“About one-third of the damages to CPS Energy’s more than 6,000 miles of gas pipelines happen when community members or contractors fail to contact 811 before digging,” said Richard Lujan, CPS Energy’s Vice President of Gas Solutions. “We encourage anyone planning to dig to first call 811 to help prevent these dangerous situations.”
Whether it is you or a contractor doing work for you, Texas law requires you to contact 811 two business days before you dig, even if you are working in your own backyard. Some examples of projects that require a call to 811 include:
- Building or repairing a fence
- Installing or replacing a mailbox
- Irrigation system installation
- Installing an in-ground basketball goal
- Any chore or maintenance that requires digging, including work surrounding digging a foundation, changing a driveway’s route or installing a pool.
To ensure the safety of you and your neighbors, follow these simple steps for safe digging:
- Contact 811 two-business days before any digging project.
- Wait two-business days for the utility to mark the work area.
- Confirm that all affected utility companies have responded by comparing markings with utilities listed on the 811 tickets.
- Respect the markings provided by the utility companies. These are your guide for the duration of the project.
- Carefully dig. It’s the responsibility of the person digging to avoid damaging marked lines.
The color of the marking identifies the types of lines running underground. CPS Energy’s markings are a red flag indicating electrical power lines, cables, conduits and lighting cables. A yellow flag will be used for gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials. Other colors identify communication lines and different types of water lines.
Along with ensuring 811 is called before digging, CPS Energy reminds the community to stay safe and hydrated this summer, especially as triple-digit heat remains in our area. Hydrate and pay attention to signs of heat illness and exhaustion. If doing yard work, be sure to take frequent breaks indoors or in the shade before continuing work. For more information on Call Before You Dig visit cpsenergy.com/811.