North Carolina 811 encourages people to make a free call 3 days before digging to know what’s below

NC811 hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Every nine minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to NC811, the local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.

“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to help eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Louis Panzer, Executive Director for NC811, “It really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area.”

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects, and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

Visit or for more information about 811 and safe digging practices. 

Help us share the 811 message by posting these 8/11 Day social media messages on facebook and twitter


(For Aug. 1 posting) Aug 11 is 811 day. Learn more & help us spread the word! #811DAY

(For Aug. 3 posting) Call 811 before you dig to find buried utility lines. #811DAY

(For Aug. 4 posting) Aug 11 is 811 day. Learn more & help us spread the word! #811DAY

(For Aug. 8 posting) An underground line is damaged once every nine minutes because someone didn’t call 811! #811DAY

(For Aug. 11 posting) It’s 811 Day! Just a reminder, stop and make the call to 811.  #811DAY


(For Aug. 1 posting) Aug 11 is 811 day. Learn more & help us spread the word! #811DAY

(For Aug. 4 posting) Don’t forget to stop and make the call to 811 on 8/11 day and every day of the year when you plan on digging! #811DAY

(For Aug. 8 posting) Aug 11 is 811 day. Learn more & help us spread the word! #811DAY

(For Aug. 11 posting) It’s August 11th – 8/11 Day! North Carolina 811 wants you to know that Calling 811 to get buried utility lines marked is the first step to staying safe during your digging projects. Do the right thing. Call 811 before you dig.  #811DAY

Every Monday, starting July 13th, 2020 NC811 will post a photo of Safety Sam on their Facebook page. If you can guess where in North Carolina he is, enter for your chance to win a weekly prize of a $25 Lowe's Gift Card. The weekly drawing will take place Friday afternoon each week and the winner will be announced on Facebook and via email.  On Tuesday, August 11th the contest will end and we will take everyone that entered in the past month and randomly select a winner for a $200 Lowe's Gift Card. 
To enter simply click on the link provided in the Locate Safety Sam Facebook post and fill out the entry form.

Help us spread the word of safe digging and download our social media toolkit

August 11th Talking Points for our stakeholders

Many NC811 stakeholders often begin each meeting with a safety message. Below NC811 has provided talking points that can be presented at your company's next safety meeting on or around Aug. 11 to help educate employees about 811 and its role in protecting the safety of workers, customers, and entire communities.
Key messages:

  • Every digging project requires a call to 811.
  • Calling 811 three full working days prior to digging notifies utility companies of the intent to dig and gives representatives time to mark the appropriate lines.
  • Aug. 11 is 8/11 on the calendar, a natural reminder for people to call 811

How 811 works:

  • 811 can be called from anywhere in the country.
  • A representative from NC811 will answer the call to find out the location and description of the digging site.
  • The affected utility companies will be notified of the intent to dig.
  • The utility companies will send a professional locator to the digging site to identify and mark the approximate location of the underground lines.
  • Once lines have been marked, you should respect the marks and dig carefully around them.

Types of projects:

  • Lines need to be marked for each separate project, such as installing a rural mailbox, putting up a fence, planting trees or building a deck.
  • Call 3 full working days prior to digging to allow time for professional locators to mark the utility lines.
  • Even if you've hired a contractor, make sure the contractor calls 811 to have lines marked. 


  • Every nine minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
  • Hitting an underground utility line while digging can cause serious injuries, disrupt service to entire neighborhoods, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.

Please Note: Do not post your guesses on the NC811 Facebook page as those will not be official entries to the contest. You will need to fill out the form that will be linked in the post every Monday.

If you have seen this weeks photo on Facebook you can click this link below to enter the contest.