INDIANAPOLIS — Friday, Aug. 11 is the perfect chance for Indiana authorities to remind Hoosier homeowners of the importance of calling (811) before you dig.

Officials said anyone moving dirt in their yard, whether they’re a professional excavator or homeowner should contact Indiana 811 at least two full working days before to have underground utility lines marked.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission stated nearly 22 hundred natural gas lines were damaged in 2022 due to digging and excavation-related work.

This means that on average six gas lines were damaged every day. Officials said striking a single utility line can result in costly damages and fines, outages, dangerous leaks, environmental damage, serious injury and even death.

For homeowners, every digging project, no matter how large or small should start with calling the free 811 service or visiting the Indiana 811 website.

Installing a mailbox, building a deck; planting trees, shrubs or flowers; removing a tree stump and laying a patio are some examples of projects that require contacting 811 before beginning.

Since utility lines are often buried just inches below the ground, even minor projects can lead to catastrophes if authorities aren’t alerted.

Homeowners and contractors can start the process by submitting the information about digging plans on the website or by phone at 811.

Officials will then notify the appropriate utility companies to mark the underground lines with colored paint or flags.

Indiana 811 reminded Hoosiers that the depth of utility lines could vary for a number of reasons such as; erosion, previous projects and uneven surfaces.

While a homeowner or professional may think they know where utilities are buried, the only absolute way is to contact 811 for free first.

Tips on safe digging, keeping your home and family safe are available on the Indiana 811 website.