Friday, August 11, 2017

MLGW Observes National Call 811 Day

Reminding customers to call Tennessee811 hotline before digging

Some numbers you know by heart. 811 should be one of them. After all, it’s almost as easy to remember as 911. And it’s a good way to avoid a situation that might actually require an emergency call to 911, and no one really wants that.

Today is National 811 Day, August 11 (8/11), and it reminds the public that calling before you dig prevents damage to underground utilities such as gas and electric lines and keeps residents safe. MLGW is promoting National 811 Day on August 11 to increase awareness of National 811 Day in Memphis and Shelby County, and what it all means.

When residents call 811, underground utility lines on their property will be located free of charge. Tennessee law requires that individuals give notice to the 811 center three business days (72 hours) before digging begins so these utility lines can be located and marked. This service is free, and all residents who intend to excavate or have contractors excavate are required to call or have their contractor call 811.

Damage to utilities can occur during installation of a fence or mailbox, building a deck or additional room, and even gardening. “We want residents of Shelby County to realize that underground utility lines can be disturbed or damaged by common home improvement projects,” said Jerry Collins Jr., MLGW President and CEO. “Hopefully our promotion of National 811 Day will increase awareness of calling 811 before you dig, as well as the importance of natural gas safety.” Digging without calling can result in damage to underground utility lines, harm to residents, disruption of neighborhood service, and fines and repair costs for those responsible.

If residents hit or damage a utility line in the process of excavation, immediately call MLGW and stop digging. Remember that natural gas smells like rotten eggs. If residents smell this strong odor, they should evacuate the area right away and call 911 and MLGW’s emergency line (528-4465) after leaving the area. MLGW wants to remind residents that the best way to avoid dangerous situations is to always call 811 before you dig. For answers to frequently asked questions about Call 811 Before You Dig, check out Common Ground Alliance’s FAQs at More information on calling 811 and natural gas safety can be found on MLGW’s website at

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