Safety is a huge priority for our celitoFiber team, and specifically, digging safely. If you’ve seen our celito trucks around town, then you have most likely also seen the large 811 logo printed on the sides. We value safety for our workers and the community above all. We are extremely careful when digging to place new celitoFiber into the ground.
However, these digging laws do not just apply to the business and contractor community. They have significant implications for homeowners that are landscaping or doing any kind of digging in their yards as well.
Homeowners not taking the time to review NC law can lead to many accidents happening with busted water and sewage lines, cut power lines, and damaged gas or phone lines. These accidents are extremely dangerous as well as incredibly expensive to repair. It pays to slow down and get educated on the digging rules below.
But First, A Little History
Governor McCrory signed NC’s Underground Utility Safety and Damage Prevention Law on August 23rd, 2013 and it went into effect on October 1st, 2013.
The implementation of this new law accomplished a 15+ year goal of Carolinas AGC’s Utility Division to update and better the Carolina’s underground utility safety laws. Simply put: it was a big deal.
The main purpose of this new law was to clarify the 811 ‘Call before you dig process’ and the responsibilities of everyone involved.
North Carolina 811 has been around since 1978 to provide communication between you and your local utility providers. If you need to do some digging in your yard, call NC 811 to provide your digging locations and they will send out locators to mark the underground lines in your yard for free. Call 811 or 1-800-632-4949 at least three working days before you plan on digging.
According to their NC 811 website, these are the main five steps involved in the safe digging process:
Step 1: Get the following information together for 811: your address, where you’ll be digging on your property, what the digging is for and how long it will take.
Step 2: Call 811 and speak with a service representative. They will ask you a few questions in order to figure out which utilities to contact for you. Be sure to record the “locate number” they give you at the end of the call—this can be used later to check the status of your locate or update the information.
Step 3: Wait. The law requires you wait three full working days before you begin digging. It’s a good idea to mark where you plan to dig with white paint or flags so the utility locators know the exact area of your excavation.
Step 4: Respect the marks made by the utilities. Each utility will mark in their designated colors. Refer to the chart on the left to know what each color is marking:
Step 5: This is the most important step: dig with care. Be aware that the tolerance zone is 24 inches on either side of the marked utility. If you must dig within the tolerance zone, be extremely cautious.
Thanks for reading and check out NC811.org for more information about digging safely!
celito is proud to a part of such an important organization and we want to help spread awareness for safe digging. As we continue digging safely to put more celitoFiber in the ground, be sure to check in with us to see if celitoFiber is available for your business. Contact celito or tweet @celitonet. Let’s get some shout outs for #safedigging and #nc811 too!