Many residents will plant trees to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, and in support of safety Atmos Energy reminds everyone to call 811 at least three business days before planting a tree at parks or in yards.
“Trees bring environmental savings and improve air quality while offering a shield from stifling summer temperatures,” said Bobby Morgan, Atmos Energy vice president of public affairs. “We encourage the enhancement of parks and green spaces for our communities to enjoy and advise this simple step of calling 811. It’s free, it’s safe and it’s required by law. Calling 811 can protect yourself, your community, and the infrastructure that makes daily life possible.”
Utility lines may be only a few inches from the surface for a variety of reasons such as erosion, prior excavation, and uneven surfaces. Calling 811 helps prevent volunteers, contractors, and do-it-yourself diggers from damaging an underground utility line.
Even minor damage can weaken a pipeline and lead to a future leak or cause inconvenient outages. Volunteers are responsible for having lines marked, regardless of whether they are planting a sapling or a full-grown tree. The best way to avoid damaging your utilities is to call 811 a few days before digging to learn the approximate location of buried lines in your area.
Everyone who calls 811 is connected to a local notification center that will take the caller’s information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags, or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.
Take the Atmos Energy Call 811 Pledge prior to your tree planting celebration by visiting https://www.atmosenergy.com/safety/sign-call-811-pledge.