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Celebrate Safe Digging Month and Locator Appreciation Week


Spring is officially here, and with it, one of the busiest times of the year for outdoor projects. Consequently, it’s also the time of year when the most damage occurs to underground utilities such as cable, sewer or natural gas lines. In fact, an underground utility line is damaged approximately every six minutes in the United States. 

Hitting an underground utility line can cause a whole slew of inconveniences like lengthy service outages, fines, repair costs, or even possible injury. To prevent this, National Safe Digging Month – observed every April – was established by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to raise awareness for safe digging practices and encourage those about to begin any excavation project to call 811, a nationwide toll-free number.

Contacting Sunshine 811 is free and legally required before starting any digging project in Florida. When contacting 811, the organization then notifies utility companies of pending excavation projects so buried lines can be located and marked, so you can begin your dig project safely.  

Celebrating over 30 years of service, Sunshine 811 is Florida’s leading authority on safe digging practices. Its mission is to help you avoid expensive underground utility damage, which could otherwise burden taxpayers with billions in costs annually, and they’re committed to addressing unsafe digging practices through community education, proactive participation, and ongoing innovation. Learn more at https://sunshine811.com

Here are a few tips to help you dig safe this summer:

  1. Florida residents should call 811 at least two (2) full business days before any digging project. For example, if you plan to begin work over the weekend, reach out by Tuesday or Wednesday to ensure you’re able to hit the ground running come Saturday.
  2. Always treat locator flags and paint markers as approximate and leave a “tolerance zone” of 24 inches from the outer edges of a buried line.
  3. Locator marks must always remain visible. Never place dump piles or building materials over marks; call 811 again if the marks fade.
  4. Do not use mechanized equipment near the utility lines. The safest thing to do is manually dig to expose the utility line and avoid damaging it.
    Here’s a quick breakdown of what the different-colored locator flags mean: 

- RED: Electricity, Power, and Lighting

- ORANGE: Communication

- YELLOW: Gas, Oil, Steam and Petrol

- GREEN: Sewer Drain Lines

- BLUE: Water

- PURPLE: Reclaim Water, Irrigation and Slurry

Keeping safety at the forefront of our mission, April also provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the men and women whose job it is to mark underground utilities. From April 24-28, we at Lake Apopka Natural Gas District proudly celebrate Locator Safety Appreciation Week and the experts who help us navigate around potential hazards while expanding our natural gas network. Thank you for all you do! 

This National Safe Digging Month, join Lake Apopka Natural Gas District and Sunshine 811 in promoting safe digging practices to keep utility lines intact and everyone safe. And remember, always call 811 before you dig!

Interested in exploring the benefits of natural gas for your home or business? Contact the District’s marketing team at (407) 656-2734 ext. 307, marketing@langd.org, or visit https://www.langd.org/ for more information.

Sunshine 811, 811, Digging, Lake Apopka Natural Gas District, Safe Digging Month, Locator Appreciation Week, Who do I call if I need to dig in my yard?


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