Encouraging customers to call Tennessee811 hotline before digging
Some numbers you know by heart. 811 should be one of them. National 811 Day occurs on August 11 (8/11) and reminds the public that calling before you or your contractor start to dig prevents damage to underground utilities such as gas, electric and water lines and keeps residents safe. MLGW is promoting National 811 Day the week of August 11 to increase awareness of National 811 Day and Call 811 Before you Dig in Memphis and Shelby County.
When residents call 811, their underground utility lines will be located free of charge. Tennessee law requires that individuals give notice to the 811 center three business days before digging begins. This service is free, and all residents who intend to excavate or have contractors excavate are required to call.
Damage to utilities can occur during installation of a fence or mailbox, building a deck or additional room, and even gardening or planting trees. “We want residents of Shelby County to realize that underground utility lines can be disturbed or damaged by common home improvement projects,” said Jerry Collins Jr., MLGW President and CEO. “Hopefully our promotion of National 811 Day will increase awareness of the importance of calling 811 before you dig, as well as knowledge of natural gas safety.” Digging without calling can result in damage to underground utility lines, harm to residents, disruption of neighborhood service, and fines and repair costs for those responsible.
If residents hit or damage a utility line in the process of excavation, they should immediately stop digging and call MLGW. Remember that natural gas smells like rotten eggs. If residents smell this strong odor, they should evacuate the area right away and call MLGW’s emergency line (528-4465) and 911. MLGW reminds residents that the best way to avoid these dangerous situations is to always call 811 before you dig.
National 811 Day is promoted by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an association dedicated to ensuring public safety, environmental protection and the integrity of services by promoting effective damage prevention practices. More information on Call 811 and natural gas safety can be found on MLGW’s website at mlgw.com or at commongroundalliance.com.