National 811 Day: Well, we missed it, but this reminder is worth passing along. Tuesday was Aug. 11, which is recognized as National 811 Day. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania wanted to remind homeowners and contractors that before they pick up a shovel, they need to pick up the telephone and call 811.

The national “Call Before You Dig” number, 811 connects homeowners and contractors with the Pennsylvania One Call System. This organization provides the opportunity for utility companies to mark buried pipes and cables before digging commences, protecting not only the utility lines, but homeowners and contractors as well.

“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we want to spread the word that calling 811 before digging allows us to mark our gas lines and prevent a potentially dangerous situation. As a homeowner or contractor, it keeps you and your neighbors safe and prevents potential costly repairs,” said Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania Vice President and General Manager Mike Davidson. “We urge all homeowners and contractors to call 811 if any digging is involved in their outdoor projects.”

Pennsylvania law requires that a homeowner or contractor call 811 at least three days prior to beginning excavation. In addition, the person conducting the excavation is charged with the responsibility of making the call to 811.

The 811 “Call Before You Dig” hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and is free for homeowners. For more information on digging safely in Pennsylvania, visit