Dig with CARE — Call Miss Utility of Virginia
Did you know that Virginia Law requires that you call 811 before you dig? It is a simple and easy way to keep safe and it only takes minutes to do.
The Virginia Utility Protection Service, commonly called Miss Utility of Virginia, is the not-for-profit organization created by Virginia’s utilities to protect underground utility lines from accidental construction damage. Miss Utility is gaining the status of directory assistance operators and emergency personnel with the rollout of a new three-digit phone number (811) for the Roanoke-based safety outfit.
Miss Utility is the free “one call” Virginia communications center for excavators, contractors, property owners, and those planning any kind of excavation or digging. The Miss Utility center notifies participating utilities of the upcoming excavation work so they can locate and mark their underground facilities in advance to prevent possible damage to underground utility lines, injury, property damage and service outages.
• An individual or company is planning to excavate.
• A call is made to Miss Utility of Virginia at 811.
• Information is gathered about the excavator and the proposed dig site.
• This information is electronically delivered to member utilities.
• Member utilities mark their facilities or employ a contract locator to perform their locates.
• The locator responds to our electronic system and a response is sent to the excavator.
If it all goes as planned, a contractor can get in and out without nipping a gas conduit or jarring loose a water main, mishaps that can produce catastrophic damage and human casualties. The marking service, which is paid for by utilities, is free to the caller.
Homeowners using hand tools for gardening and other projects are exempt but welcome to call.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission investigates about 2,250 reports of underground utility damage in the state each year. Some actions results in civil fines.
Contact Miss Utility of Virginia by calling 811 or 1-800-552-7001 before beginning any digging project.