Homeowners and professional excavators are being encouraged to “call before you dig” as part of a new federally mandated 811 program that was designed to prevent injury, expense and penalties from future digging projects.
The Shell Pipeline Company LP (SPLC) helped create awareness for the campaign, which launched Aug. 11, National 811 Day, with the 811 Tank Dedication Ceremony at the Shell Signal Hill Terminal. Tank number 100 was painted with the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) “Call Before You Dig” logo, representing Shell’s ongoing efforts in promoting damage prevention and safe digging practices.
“As a member of the Common Ground Alliance, Shell wants to remind everyone about the importance of calling 811 before any digging project no matter how large or small,” said Alan Caldwell, communications manager for Carson and the Los Angeles Basin.
Whether planting a tree or installing a mailbox, residents or project workers can dial 811 to help prevent the unintentional hitting of underground utility lines. Every digging project now requires individuals to dial the FCC-designated number that will forward callers to a One Call Center in their area. Operators will record the location of the dig and notify the affected utility companies. A professional locating crew will then be dispatched to the site within a few days, at no cost, to mark the approximate location of the digger’s lines.
“It is very important to know where underground utilities and pipelines are located in order to prevent damage and injury,” Caldwell said. “Safety is a top priority, and promoting safe digging is in line with our goal of being a good corporate citizen.”
CGA, an association that works with various industry stakeholders in an effort to protect underground utility infrastructure and ensure public safety and environmental protection, will continue to work with its 1,400 members and sponsors to push campaign efforts, and educate the community on the importance of utilizing 811, according to CGA’s website call811.com.
“The response from the community has been good, and several cities along with Signal Hill have publicly supported the campaign,” Caldwell said.