In conjunction with National 811 Day on Wednesday, August 11, NIPSCO hopes that 8/11 on the calendar serves as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 or at least 2 business days before any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. With the summer heat in full swing and more people spending time at home, homeowners turn to do-it-yourself (DIY) work in and around their yards. National 811 Day is the perfect opportunity to remind folks of the importance of calling 811 at least 2 business days before digging.

In 2020, 38% of damages occurred due to failure to call 811 before a digging project in Indiana. The primary cause of damages in the late summer was due to fence installations and landscaping projects. If you contact 811 before you dig, there’s less than a 1% chance of damaging a utility line.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to Indiana 811, the local one-call center, which notifiesthe appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Requests can also be conveniently made online Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both. Requests should be made at least 2 business days before digging, this service is provided free of charge.

An underground utility line is damaged every few minutes because someone decided to dig without first contacting 811. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, inconvenient outages, and fines. With more people at home during the summer and relying on their utilities to work and communicate, inconvenient outages are important to avoid. Every digging project, no matter how big or small, warrants contacting 811 by phone or online. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree, and laying a patio are just some examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 or a visit to before starting.