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811 Day: The Importance of Line Locating

August 10, 2023

811 Day: The Importance of Line Locating

By Kenneth Warner, senior operations manager, Bermex

What is the Significance of 811 Day?

August 11 is here once again, which means it is 811 Day, highlighting the importance of calling 811 before starting any project that may require digging. This annual initiative was created in 2009 by the United States Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to educate the public on the importance of making the call before starting any kind of construction or project that requires digging into the ground.   

Safety is Crucial When Digging

The purpose of 811 Day is to highlight the importance of calling 811 before you start digging. If a homeowner or business owner doesn’t call 811 and simply starts digging, they risk hitting an important utility line, causing property damage, injury, and even death. In fact, 40% of homeowners don’t call 811 before digging and this failure to call is the largest individual cause of damage to properties and lines. 

Calling 811 before digging to locate lines makes both residential and commercial projects significantly safer. When digging, it is possible to hit a variety of lines, each posing its own risks: 

  • Damaging gas lines can cause explosions due to a mass release of natural gas
  • Hitting a sewer line can cause wet areas, sinkholes, and potential exposure to hazardous materials
  • Damaged water lines can flood homes and cut off water access for many homes and businesses
  • Hitting electrical lines can cause loss of power to a large area and a risk of fatal electric shock

It is important to call 811 at least two days prior to your project so a certified technician can come out to your property and mark the areas where lines and pipes are present with flags or spray paint. No matter how small your project is, it is crucial to call 811 if any digging is required. This includes seemingly ‘minor’ projects like: 

  • Planting trees
  • Installing fencing
  • Building a patio or deck
  • Installing a mailbox
  • Installing a pool  

How Bermex Makes a Difference When You Call 811

What Happens When You Call 811?

When you make an 811 call, a ticket is created with your information and that ticket is assigned to our team at Bermex. We send out a field worker as soon as possible to the ticketed location and they use geographic information system (GIS) mapping software and physical detection equipment to locate any lines on the property.

How Bermex Prioritizes Safety During Line Locating

At Bermex, we understand how important it is to have a professional field worker on site to ensure all lines are accounted for and located properly. Marking lines precisely is crucial to preventing injuries and damaged lines. This is why our team combines the accurate geographic data provided by the GIS mapping software and physical detection equipment, such as ground penetrating radars (GPR),  so we don’t miss anything. Our employees go through specialized training and have all of the tools they need to handle dangerous situations and identify field hazards, helping them to prevent incidents and create a safe environment for everyone.  

Safety is our primary goal, which is why our team at Bermex is celebrating 811 Day. When more people know when they need to call 811, how to call 811, and why they need to call 811 the risk of injuries or damage is greatly reduced.  

Work with Us

At Bermex, we value the safety of our employees and clients and we know just how important line locating is in accomplishing that. Our team can locate electric, gas, water, fiber optic, telephone, or any other type of underground line you may encounter. Learn more about calling 811 and our line locating services.  Contact our team if you have any questions, or if you are ready to get to work.

Bermex Staff

Since 1972, we’ve been working towards providing the best solutions by reducing our clients’ costs and minimizing customer complaints. We work with gas, electric, and water utility companies to design a plan that best fits the challenges you’re facing.