DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling and the Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District are urging residents to call 811 before they plan to dig. The month of April has been proclaimed Safe Digging Month in DeKalb County.
Underground infrastructure damages cost communities an estimated $30 billion annually in the USA (Common Ground Alliance 2019 DIRT Report). Unsafe digging has its monetary cost, but also poses avoidable inconveniences and risks when facilities are damaged.
In 2005, the five commissioners of the FCC voted unanimously to adopt 811 as the national call-before-you-dig number, and the number was officially put into use in 2007.
Tennessee 811 and its member utilities, including Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District, have partnered with the Common Ground Alliance for a successful initiative called National Safe Digging Month each April to coincide with the onset of peak digging season. The initiative is designed to increase awareness and participation in the prevention of digging related damages to underground utilities.
In issuing a proclamation on behalf of all underground facilities, including MTNG, the message elevates awareness of this critical public issue for citizens of DeKalb County. The public safety concern is a partnership between MTNG, other members of Tennessee 811, professional excavators, and the general public.