Playing by the rules means calling 811

By on April 20, 2016

For years I’ve been telling customers to play it safe and call 811 before starting any project that involves digging. It’s important to have underground infrastructure located so you don’t hit an electric or gas line. So, when I noticed a muddy area in my front yard recently, I thought it might be a good idea to have a plumber come out and evaluate it, which meant I might I have to call 811.

Mud spots identify a potential underground water leak.

Mud spots identify a potential underground water leak.

As it turned out, I had a water line break that would involve extensive excavation of both my yard and my wallet to repair. I scheduled the repairs for a couple of days later and called 811, knowing that I needed at least 48 hours to have underground lines on my property located.

On the morning the plumbers arrived, I was impressed to hear them say that they would have to wait for the lines to be located before they could start digging. The plumbers mentioned they had also called 811 for the free service and that someone should arrive soon. Sure enough, within minutes United States Infrastructure Corporation (USIC) arrived to mark the location of underground lines on my property.

Contracted by utilities to located underground infrastructure on their behalf, USIC performs 60 million locates annually in both the United States and Canada.

Contracted by utilities to locate underground infrastructure on their behalf, USIC performs 60 million locates annually in both the United States and Canada.

The plumbers received the “all-clear” when they were informed that there was no underground infrastructure in the area where digging would be needed.

Flag mark the location of both electric and communications infrastructure buried underground.

Flags mark the location of both electric and communications infrastructure buried underground.

After eight hours of work, the plumbing company finished the job and I had running water to my house again. I have to say, my overall experience was pretty awesome. I was extremely impressed with the repair work and with the response from USIC.

But what I was most impressed with was the focus on safety simply by calling 811 before the work even began. It’s not often I can relate a true story while speaking  to customers, so you can bet I’ll be sharing my experience the next time I’m out educating the community on the importance of calling 811 before you dig. Not only is it the law, but making that call kept the plumbers, my family and my neighbors safe.

Plumbers lay new water line in a freshly dug trench.

Plumbers lay new water line in a freshly dug trench.

After the work is completed, my yard almost looks back to normal.

Related stories:

Dig without danger: what you don’t know can hurt you

Down…set…call 811

Demonstration warns contractors about dangers of pipeline excavation

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