Before starting yard work, remember to call 811 to prevent striking a buried power line or natural gas line. According to the Common Ground Alliance, with more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States, an underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes. Striking a utility line can cause injuries, repair costs, fines and potentially lengthy outages.
Calling 811 is an easy and free service. Call at least three days before starting your project. Utility representatives will come to your house and mark any underground lines with stakes, paint or flags.
Even if you’ve had your lines marked before, it’s a good idea to call for every new project. When digging only a few inches, the risk of striking a utility line still exists, and the depth of utility lines can vary based on erosion, previous projects and uneven surfaces.
Once your lines have been marked, dig around the markers – not on them – and don’t use excavation equipment within 30 inches of the markers.
If you strike a line
Call the utility immediately so they can inspect for damage.
- Duke Energy customers should call the outage reporting phone number for their state.
- For natural gas line or the tracer wire, Piedmont Natural Gas customers should call 800.752.7504.
For more information: Call Before You Dig.