Celebrating 811 Day: The Importance of Safe Digging in Missouri
As the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, the arrival of August brings with it a crucial reminder for all Missourians: it's 811 Day! This annual celebration serves as a poignant occasion to raise awareness about the significance of safe digging practices across the state. Let’s explore the essence of 811 Day and delve into why safe digging is an indispensable aspect of protecting our communities, utilities, and the environment.
What is 811 Day?
811 Day, observed on August 11th, is a dedicated opportunity to educate and inform individuals about the importance of contacting Missouri 811 before commencing any digging projects. Missouri 811 is a not-for-profit organization that acts as a communication link between excavators and utility companies. By contacting 811, anyone planning to dig can provide information about their intended project, and in turn, utility companies can mark the location of buried pipelines, cables, and other utilities to prevent potential damages.
The Key Benefits of Safe Digging Practices
- Protecting Our Communities: Underground utilities are essential lifelines that provide us with electricity, natural gas, water, internet, and telecommunications. Accidental damage to these utilities during digging can disrupt essential services, lead to expensive repairs, and, in the worst cases, pose significant safety hazards to the community.
- Preventing Financial Loss: Digging without contacting Missouri 811 can result in costly damages. Repairing damaged utility lines can be expensive; in some cases, the excavator may be held financially liable for the repair costs. By contacting Missouri 811, excavators can avoid such financial burdens and ensure a smoother, hassle-free digging process.
- Safeguarding the Environment: Underground utility lines are essential for communities and play a vital role in preserving our environment. Damaging these lines can lead to hazardous material leaks, soil contamination, and harm to wildlife. Safe digging practices protect Missouri's natural beauty and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
- Preventing Injuries and Fatalities: Digging without proper information about the location of utility lines is a dangerous gamble. Accidents resulting from digging into live electrical cables, gas pipelines, or other utilities can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. By taking the time to call 811, individuals can mitigate these risks and create a safer environment for themselves and others.
The Missouri 811 Process is Simple and Efficient: Making Safety a Priority
- Notify Missouri 811: Request a utility locate online at Missouri-811.org or by phone by simply dialing 811 at least three full working days prior to excavation.
- Utilities Are Notified: Missouri 811 will notify all public utility companies in the vicinity of the 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 confirm the marks and utility statuses.
- Dig with Care!
811 Day is a celebration of a commitment to safe digging practices and the preservation of Missouri's infrastructure and environment. By contacting Missouri 811 before any excavation, we empower ourselves to protect our communities, prevent financial loss, safeguard the environment, and, most importantly, save lives. Let us all join together to make safe digging a priority, not just on 811 Day, but every day of the year. Together, we can build a safer, more sustainable Missouri for everyone. Happy 811 Day!