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Call Before You Dig Helps to Prevent Accidents and Injuries in the Hamden Area

By S. Mathur

It's not just a good idea, it's the law. Connecticut law requires anyone starting a project that involves digging with mechanized equipment to first check if there are any underground utility lines at that location. Call Before You Dig (CBYD) helps to connect callers to the right utility companies, which can then send out professional locators to mark their lines with paint or flags.

CBYD's Media Consultant Dina Annino, explains that "CBYD's mission statement is to: "Provide communication and education to improve safety when excavating." Call Before You Dig is a non-profit organization comprised of all public utility companies and municipalities within Connecticut. CBYD is a free service that provides homeowners and professional excavators with a toll free call by dialing 8-1-1 for locating and marking underground facilities by its members."

The list of projects for which a phone call to CBYD could be necessary is long and varied. For anyone planning to install decks, fences, mailboxes, fountains, swing sets or satellite dishes, adding rooms or swimming pools or doing any landscaping, or planting trees or shrubs, calling 811 before you begin digging is the law in Connecticut. 811 is the national number and will transfer callers to Call Before You Dig, Inc., which is located in Hamden, CT. CBYD will then figure out which utility companies will be affected and notify them.

This is in keeping with state laws that protect workers and the public from injuries as well as repair costs and outages due to damaged utility lines. Once CBYD has connected the caller with the right utility, the company can then send out professional locators to the digging site to mark out their lines with flags or spray paint, so they can be avoided in the digging. CBYD should be called two days before the project is scheduled to begin. You can also contact CBYD for a ticket online through the free E-Ticket program.

This law helps in the prevention of injury, or fines, repair costs and outages. Annino says that CBYD would like the public to be aware of the dangers of digging up an underground utility line, as well as the laws regulating digging to prevent any accidents and injuries.

"Well, we tell people that even if they are using a shovel to dig very carefully since underground utilities can be inches below the surface. Never bury a damaged line or try to hide it. Lastly, if something DOES happen, please call 911 for any injuries, but they cannot help with the utility. The utility owner must also be notified separately."

The best and easiest way to avoid accidents, she says, is "to call 811 or get online for your ticket to simply have them marked 2 full working days prior to the project starting. It's FREE and it's the law."

For details and even more info, check out their website here!

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