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What is 811 in FL? Why and When do you need call? All you need to now before digging!

In Florida (FL), 811 is the statewide "Call Before You Dig" number. It is a free service provided to anyone planning to dig or excavate to help prevent damage to underground utility lines. The service is operated by the Sunshine 811 organization.


Why do you need to call 811?


Calling 811 is crucial because it allows you to notify the appropriate utility companies about your planned digging activity. This is important because there are numerous underground utility lines, such as gas pipelines, water pipes, electric cables, telecommunications cables, and sewer lines, running beneath the ground. Accidentally hitting or damaging these utility lines during excavation can lead to serious consequences, including:


1. Personal Safety: Damaging utility lines can cause hazardous situations, leading to injuries or even fatalities for those involved in the excavation.


2. Public Safety: Accidents involving utility lines can also pose risks to the general public, neighboring properties, and nearby communities.


3. Service Disruptions: Damaging utility lines can result in service outages for essential services like electricity, water, gas, and communications, affecting not only you but also your neighbors.


4. Costly Repairs: Repairing damaged utility lines can be expensive, and the responsibility for the cost of repairs may fall on the person or entity responsible for the excavation.


When do you need to call 811?


You should call 811 before starting any digging, regardless of the size or depth of the project. Some common examples of projects that require a call to 811 include:


- Installing a fence or posts

- Planting trees or shrubs

- Excavating for a new construction project

- Digging for a home improvement project (e.g., installing a mailbox, building a deck, etc.)

- Repairing or replacing underground utilities on your property


You should call 811 at least a few days before you plan to start digging. Once you provide the necessary information about your project and its location, the Sunshine 811 organization will notify the relevant utility companies in your area. These companies will then send professional locators to mark the approximate locations of their underground utility lines with paint or flags.


By calling 811 and following the marked lines, you can dig safely and avoid damaging any utility lines, protecting yourself, your property, and the community. It's a simple step that can prevent accidents, save lives, and avoid costly repairs. Always remember to "Call Before You Dig" whenever you have a digging project in Florida or any other state with a similar service.



call 811 before digging

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