“The City of Modesto encourages people to make a free call 2 days before digging to know what’s below”
The City of Modesto hopes the month of August will serve as a reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged due to digging without first calling 811.
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.
“On August 11th and throughout the year, we would like to remind citizens to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line.” said Joe Lopez, Interim City Manager for the City of Modesto. “Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, the most important step is to call 811 before you begin.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.