MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – Wednesday is National 811 Day and NIPSCO hopes that 8/11 will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 or visit at least two business days before any digging projects to have underground utility lines marked.

NIPSCO said that in 2020, 38% of damages occurred due to failure to call 811 before a digging project in Indiana. The main cause of the damages in the late summer were due to fence installations and landscaping projects. If a person hits a utility line before calling 811, there is a potential for injury, repair costs, inconvenient outages and fines.

If a Hoosier calls 811 before digging, NIPSCO said that there’s a less than 1% chance of damaging a utility line.

When a homeowner calls 811 or visits, the appropriate utility company is then notified of the intended dig. Professional locators will arrive at the dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both. This service is provided free of charge.

“Every digging project, no matter how big or small, warrants contacting 811 by phone or online. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree, and laying a patio are just some examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 or a visit to before starting,” NIPSCO said.

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