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Call 811 Before You Dig or Farm Near Buried Utility and Pipelines

Today, August 11 is “National 811 Day,” so it is only fitting to share an Ag-Safety reminder to “Call or Click Before You Dig.”

There are pipelines and utility lines buried all over the place in rural areas.  In fact, there are more than 1,250 miles of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines that run through the Panhandle from Jefferson to Escambia Counties.  Many of these utilities are buried along highway right-of-ways, but some do cross through farm fields. If you have recently purchased or leased a new field, make sure you know where these lines are located.  The markers are placed in the vicinity of the hazard, but may not be exact.  If you plan to excavate for a pond, remove stumps, clean out a ditch, dig post holes for a fence, install drainage tiles in a field, or just are going to do some deep tillage, it is always a good idea to know exactly where pipe or utility lines are buried.  Hitting a gas line can be extremely dangerous.  Breaking a fiber-optic cable can stop service for thousands of people in your area.  If you see the buried utility markers at the edge of a field, make sure you know exactly where and how deep they are buried by using the 811 system.  Utility marking can require a few days to schedule with the specific utility involved, so this is something you should do several days before a project begins.

In 2005, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 811 as the universal phone number for the 71 regions that coordinate location services for underground public utilities in the U.S. If you would prefer to make a location request online, instead of by phone, you can use the Florida 811 Service through their website: http://www.sunshine811.com/   If you see the markers on the edge of your field, make the call or make out an online location request ticket, at least two days before you dig or farm the field.

This is what can happen if you skip the 811 call:

 

For more information:

Pipeline Ag Safety Fact Sheet

U.S. Click Before you Dig website that provides a link for utility marking requests in each state

Pipeline Ag Safety Alliance

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo - demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news - Jackson County Extension Director - Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/phag/2017/08/11/call-811-before-you-dig-or-farm/