HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Virginia Natural Gas wants to make sure you don’t dig yourself into trouble this summer.
If you’re planning on breaking ground on a new outdoor project, you need to make sure it’s safe to do so first.
August 11 is National Safe Digging Day, or 811 Day. It’s a reminder for people to dial 811 before starting any digging projects that could leave you in a financial hole.
If you’re planning a home improvement project like adding a deck, fence or landscaping, you need to call 811 first - it’s the law.
No matter what size project - even if it’s just a simple as planting a tree - Virginia Natural Gas Media Relations Manager Rick DelaHaya says, “You need to know what’s below” and call 811 to find out exactly where lines are.
“There could be cable lines underneath; there could be power lines underneath,” said DelaHaya. “It can do physical damage to you. It could do property damage, and it can cause service interruptions.”
Call 811 at least three business days before you plan to dig, and a dispatcher will let you know if your property needs to be checked for lines.
If so, someone will come to your home for free and mark any underground utility lines within the area where you want to dig to avoid a disaster.
If your property is marked for lines, DelaHaya says people need to dig at least two feet away from either side of that line because those markings are approximate locations.
“More and more people are working from home, so if the power goes out, or they can’t bathe, or they can’t wash clothes, or something like that, it’s going to be a major inconvenience for your neighborhood,” said DelaHaya.