On August 11, American Water Resources, a partner of Metro Water Services (MWS) in providing Service Line Protection to MWS customers, wants to remind Nashville homeowners to call 8-1-1 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. The 8-1-1 phone number, used in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, helps consumers access a free service that will identify and mark underground utilities, so that unnecessary outages in critical services can be avoided. By calling 8-1-1 three days before digging, homeowners and contractors will be connected to a local One Call Center, which then notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both. “On August 11 and throughout the year, American Water Resources reminds homeowners to ‘dial before you dig’ and call 8-1-1 to reduce the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Malcolm Conner, president of American Water Resources. “We know it only takes one accident to create major damage to a service line and many homeowners are unaware they are responsible for the maintenance of these service lines until they experience a service line problem.” Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are examples of digging projects that should prompt an 8-1-1 call. Visit the One Call website at www.call811.com for more information about safe digging practices. “It’s a free call and a free service for homeowners – a great price for safety,” said Conner. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists. According to the Common Ground Alliance, an underground utility line is damaged during digging projects every three minutes nationwide.