With August 11 almost here, Atmos Energy hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. This comes on the heels of a recent report which determined an underground utility line is damaged during digging projects every three minutes nationwide.

“The 811 program is provided at no charge, and it can save you time and money as well as prevent threats to life and property,” said Jennifer Ryan, Atmos Energy Director of Media Relations.

In order to spread the word about 811 Day this year, more than 50 pipeline companies are partnering to get the news out on Saturday, August 11th during the Olympics.

“You can expect to see 811 booths at local events and plenty of chatter on social media,” said Ryan.

By calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig.  Professional locators are then sent to the digging site to mark the locations of underground utility lines with flags, spray paint or both.

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, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.

Atmos and the 811 folks joined me in the studio Friday, August 10, to explain the campaign and to celebrate the day. The celebration came from the fact that a majority of contractors and homeowners ARE using the 811 service.

Tim Vaughn is the Kentucky Director of 811 and not only explained the free service but also brought a big green cake.

Hear the entire interview and find out  why they brought me a cake by listening to the interview.