TPUC Recognizes Safe Digging Month

Tuesday, April 02, 2024 | 09:46am

April is Safe Digging Month: TPUC Reminds Tennesseans To Call 811 Before Digging at Home or at Work

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Public Utility Commission (TPUC) reminds citizens during Safe Digging Month to
avoid accidents and utility interruptions when engaging in any outdoor projects by calling 811.

A recent national survey released by the Common Ground Alliance, sponsor of Safe Digging Month, shows that more than half of U.S. homeowners plan to complete an outdoor do-it-yourself project that involves digging in the next year, but 26.9 million Americans do not plan to notify 811 ahead of their next project, putting themselves and their communities at risk by not contacting 811 before digging.

“Because TPUC and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have authority over miles of underground pipe, we cannot stress enough the importance of following safety measures before digging underground,” said Tim Schwarz, TPUC Director of Communications.

 “The spring season inevitably brings with it an increase in outdoor projects that can result in hitting buried utility lines. As such, we strongly urge anyone undertaking outdoor residential or business projects to call 811 beforehand because the costs of striking and damaging underground gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines reach billions of dollars annually. A simple call can help prevent these issues and avoid serious health risks.”

According to CGA, when asked why homeowners aren’t planning to call 811, the top reasons are related to beliefs around shallow digging and unfamiliarity with the 811 notification process. Even small projects like planting a garden or installing a mailbox or post light require homeowners to contact 811 because many utilities are buried just a few inches below ground. 

Hitting buried utility lines can be avoided by reaching out to the 811 One Call service several days in advance of beginning any excavation or digging project, including small yard projects. TPUC will continue to raise awareness on the need for safe digging practices throughout the month of April.

For additional information on safe digging in Tennessee visit