Today is Aug. 11 (8/11 on the calendar), which serves as a good reminder to everyone to call 811 a few days before digging to identify the approximate location of underground utility lines.

Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, and we at the City of Napa, as well as the Napa Fire Department, do not want anyone to become part of the statistic.

Utility services that your family depends on, such as cable TV, high-speed Internet, landline telephone, electric, gas, water and sewer, are buried underground in many communities. Striking one of these lines can result in inconvenient outages for entire neighborhoods, harm to yourself or someone else, and repair costs.

When you call 811 a few days before you plan to start your project, a local one-call center representative will collect your information and notify the affected local utility companies of your intent to dig. A professional locator will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of all underground utility lines with paint, flags or both. Once your site has been marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

No matter the type of project – installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, planting trees or shrubbery, building a patio or deck, or excavating a new garden area – make sure to call 811 several days prior to digging to have your site properly marked, and remind our customers, as well as your friends and family, to do the same. Always call 811 before you dig and know what’s below.