RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Spring is here, which means homeowners are starting some outdoor projects. The State Corporation Commission's (SCC) Division of Utility and Railroad Safety is reminding everyone to call 811 before reaching for the shovel and digging.
Those who do not call the hotline before digging could face some serious consequences, such as injuries or losing utility services, according to the SCC.
Therefore, the SCC is recommending everyone to dig with CARE:
- Call 811 before digging.
- Allow the required time for marking.
- Respect and protect the marks.
- Excavate carefully.
Calling 811 will notify utility companies that may have underground pipes in the area about the work or demolition.
"Locators are sent to your project area within the time allowed by law to mark the approximate horizontal location on the ground within two feet of the underground utility lines," the SCC said. "Once marked, hand digging is required within 24 inches of these marks plus the width of the utility line if known. This area is the tolerance zone."
Those who are demolishing within the tolerance zone where an underground utility line may be destroyed, damaged, dislocated, etc. should take the steps to properly protect the lines in the area.
If a utility line is damaged, the SCC is recommending to call the utility company immediately.
"If damage to an underground utility line results in the escape of any flammable, toxic, hazardous or corrosive gas or liquid, promptly report the damage to the appropriate authorities by dialing 911," the SCC said.
There is no fee for the service.
The state's on-call notification center is open from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding state and national holidays.
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