[Jefferson City, MO]— Every year, excavators and the utility industry celebrate National Safe Digging Month (NSDM) in April. On March 9, 2023, Governor Mike Parson signed an official proclamation, and on April 4th, 2023, a meeting with safe digging stakeholders will take place at the Capitol, proclaiming April 2023 as Safe Digging Month in Missouri. As April marks the start of spring digging season, Missouri 811, Governor Mike Parson and Lt. Governor Kehoe are encouraging homeowners to contact 811 before they dig. A recent national survey conducted by the Common Ground Alliance revealed that 74% of U.S. homeowners plan to dig on their property this year. Of those who are planning projects, more than 49.3 million Americans will put themselves and their communities at risk by not contacting 811 before digging.
Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, inconvenient service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged. Missouri state law requires anyone digging in the state to contact Missouri 811 (online at www.Missouri-811.com or by dialing 811) before digging. This service is free to the public and will help homeowners maintain essential utility service for themselves and their neighbors and keep communities safe by reducing the likelihood of accidentally digging into buried utility lines.
Unfortunately, lives are lost, and utilities are damaged every day when people forget or do not think it's important to call before they dig. No matter the size of the job, anyone planning to dig must follow these steps:
- Notify Missouri 811
Request a utility locate online or by phone at 811 at least three full working days prior to excavation.
- Utilities Are Notified
Missouri 811 will notify any public utility companies within your dig site while you wait the required time.
- Utilities Mark Their Lines
The utilities will locate and mark their lines or provide an “all-clear” notification.
- Confirm the Marks
You as the excavator should confirm the marks and utility statuses.
- Dig with Care!
Carefully hand dig within 2 feet of the marks to prevent damage to utilities.
“Four in 10 U.S. homeowners who are planning to dig on their property this year will not contact 811 at least a few days in advance. That’s more than 49 million Americans who are putting themselves at serious risk of personal injury and utility service interruptions,” said Randy Norden, Missouri 811’s Executive Director. “It is important that anyone who plans to dig, regardless of how shallow the project is, contacts 811 beforehand to have their buried utilities marked so they can safely dig away from buried lines.”
Visit www.Missouri-811.com for more information about Safe Digging Month and the call-before-you-dig process.
About Missouri 811
In 1986, Missouri One Call System (MOCS) was established in response to the Missouri Underground Facility Safety and Damage Prevention Act 319 (RSMo Chapter 319). In 2007, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and its member community launched the nationwide campaign to promote 811, the newly designated three-digit number for calling before you dig. To further public awareness and usage of the 811, as well as to better align with other statewide organizations and fellow members of the CGA, Missouri One Call System rebranded as Missouri 811.
The primary responsibility of Missouri 811 is to serve as the single point of contact for all public underground facilities located throughout the state 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Once Missouri 811 is notified of a dig site by the excavator (homeowner or professional), Missouri 811 notifies all the public underground facility owners in the vicinity of the dig site so they can locate and mark their own facilities to prevent damage or disruption. This service is funded by its members and is free to anyone digging in Missouri.