22 Aug 411 on 811: Call Before You Dig!
What’s the 4-1-1 on 811?
Being in the Network Cabling business, no matter what area of the world you are in, you may be required to do some crazy tasks in order to make sure that your goal is completed.
Now you may be asking yourself, “What exactly are you referring to?”
Picture this. Your client hires you to run fiber optic cabling. NO PROBLEM! Now let’s throw this into the mix. Your client wants a fiber optics cable line run from one building on their property to another. But not so fast! This particular client doesn’t want an aerial wire between their buildings. Well, process of elimination that only leaves one more possibility! You guessed it; the ground!
What are the first steps that I need to take?
Before you do anything pick up the phone and start dialing 8-1-1. By calling this number, you will be opening up an official service ticket. Now there is a lot of information that goes into the service ticket and a lot of information that you need to know before calling it a day and continuing on with your project.
Is there anything specific I need to know before I make the call?
Right off the bat, you need to know that if this is the first service ticket you are opening in that calendar year, you will be sent a bill for $125.00. This is a onetime charge for that particular calendar year. This is amazing if you are calling in January! However, if you are making the call in December, I’m sorry to say that you will only get a few days’ worth.
In addition, you need to call three business days before anyone breaks ground. This time is needed to get the proper clearance to ensure that there are no lines going in your desired path. However, please note that some older private lines (sewage for example) may not always appear in anyone’s records so still be very mindful of your dig area after the excavation beings.
You will be given a date when someone will arrive on location to mark up any lines that may be running in the desired area. On the back end, you will be notified from other utility companies of their results. As long as you get a green light across the board, you will be cleared to dig!
It is very important to plan when you will be calling vs. when the excavation will be occurring. After you open a service ticket, it will close 10 days after the provided dig date. If this occurs you are required to call again to reopen the service ticket so that you are abiding by the law. You are more than welcome to call more than 10 days out so that way all of the needed information is logged and then all that would be needed is for the service ticket to be reopened. This could be beneficial because it can give you more time to gather information that maybe you didn’t have available to you while on the phone. This will also provide you with an opportunity to advise 811 if the markings need to be replaced.
What information should I make sure I provide?
- Point of contact
- Site contact
- Location address
- Nearest intersection
- Building Description (if needed) – this is useful when the address refers to multiple buildings
- Where exactly on the property the dig is occurring
- Will any road closures be needed?
- What are the dimensions of the dig?
- Who will be doing the excavating? *Please note, if a company, other than the one you represent, is doing the excavating they ALSO need to call 811.
- What is the email address that the reports will be sent to?
- What is the address that the bill will be sent to?
- What is the date of the dig?
- …and more!
Now you’re thinking to yourself, in the words of SpongeBob Squarepants, “I’m Ready!” Feel free to view our video recapping 811 information on our YouTube channel as well.