- August 11th is Nationwide 811 Day, an annual initiative led by the U.S. Department of Transportation
- The initiative promotes safe digging practices to avoid damage to underground utilities
- Excavation is the leading cause of pipeline incidents, but is easily preventable
Clarksburg, W.Va. – National 811 Day is Sunday, August 11, and Dominion Energy is urging homeowners and professional excavators to put safety first by calling 811 to have underground utility lines located before any digging project. A recent nationwide survey found 42% of homeowners will put themselves and the safety of their community at risk by not calling 811 before they dig.
Dominion Energy West Virginia’s director of operations, Jonell Carver, emphasizes that safety is everyone’s responsibility. “We are making great strides to empower our employees to take ownership of workplace safety,” Carver said, recognizing DEWV’s two-year plus record with zero OSHA recordable injuries. “But our safety is also tied to our community’s commitment to follow safe digging practices by calling 811 at least 48 hours before digging.”
The executive director for WV811, Tom Taylor adds, “The call to 811 is fast, free and West Virginia state law. It is an essential service that protects you from the dangers of hitting a gas line that could lead to serious damage or life-threatening injury.”
Dominion Energy aims to dispel common misconceptions about 811, the process and its importance:
Myth 1: “Calling 811 takes time and money away from my project.”
Fact: The call to 811 and the professional locate service is paid by utilities for your safety. If you’re on-the-go, you can conveniently request line markings at WV811 or through the WV 811 mobile app and can expect a response within two business days.
Myth 2: “I remember when the utilities were put in.” or “I’m digging in a spot that was marked before.”
Fact: Erosion and root system growth can change the depth and location of buried lines, or your utility companies may have completed work on their facilities since your last call.
Myth 3: “I’ve hired a contractor or landscaper to do the digging project. They know what they’re doing.”
Fact: Your contractor or landscaper does not know where underground utility lines are located. Always check with your contractor to make sure that they have contacted 811 and utilities have been marked before digging-related work begins.
Myth 4: “There’s no need to call 811 if there’s a pipeline marker. The marker shows me where the line is.”
Fact: Dominion Energy pipeline markers indicate that there is a pipeline in the area. Calling 811 is still required to know the exact location of the pipeline.
Myth 5: “If I hit a gas line and nothing happens, it’s not a big deal.”
Fact: Even if the line doesn’t appear to be damaged, call the emergency number provided by the natural gas operators in your area – DEWV customers call 800-934-3187. Protective coating damage or even a small dent in a gas line could cause an issue in the future.
Safety is the number one core value at Dominion Energy. In 2018, DETI and DEWV were two of twenty-one companies to receive the American Gas Association’s top safety honor, recognizing superior commitment to safety. Click here learn more about companywide safety successes and initiatives.
About Dominion Energy
Nearly 7.5 million customers in 18 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy with about $100 billion of assets providing electric generation, transmission and distribution, as well as natural gas storage, transmission, distribution and import/export services. The company expects to cut generating fleet carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2050 and reduce methane emissions from its gas assets 50 percent by 2030. Please visit DominionEnergy.com to learn more.