This April marks the fifth annual National Safe Digging Month, and CenturyLink, Inc. reminds southwest Florida residents to always call 811 a few days before any digging project.
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to the local one-call center, which notifies CenturyLink and other 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, paint or both. According to the Common Ground Alliance's Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) report, a utility line is damaged by digging once every three minutes nationwide, and one-third of these incidents are caused by failure of the professional excavator or homeowner to call 811 before beginning their digging project.
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 and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin after calling 811 to have underground lines appropriately marked.
"As April marks the traditional start of digging season, we are reminding individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging," said Taylor Chestnut, CenturyLink's vice president and general manager for southwest Florida, in a prepared statement. "By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected."
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.
For more information, visit www.call811.com .
CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides broadband, voice, wireless and managed services to consumers and businesses across the country. It also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLinkTM PrismTM TV and DIRECTV brands. In addition, the company provides data, voice and managed services to enterprise, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers. CenturyLink is recognized as a leader in the network services market by key technology industry analyst firms, and is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises through Savvis, a CenturyLink company. CenturyLink's customers range from Fortune 500 companies in some of the country's largest cities to families living in rural America. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com .