WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — An underground utility line is damaged every six minutes in the United States, meaning that ten times an hour, a potentially dangerous and quite costly incident causes a utility outage for anywhere from one customer to an entire neighborhood, business park or factory.

That’s why the National Safe Digging Day (811 Day) was created, to serve as an important and easy reminder that everyone, whether a homeowner with a shovel or a professional excavator with an earthmover, must Call Before You Dig.

All you have to do is give the location of the dig and the affected pipeline. Then, area utility companies will send locators to the dig site to mark the location of buried lines with flags or paint.

Pam Hughes with Atmos said while you may not know it, it is the law to call 811 at least two days before digging.

“In the state of Texas, it is actually the law to call 811 before you dig, even on your own property, and a lot of people don’t realize that,” Hughes said. “They go out there and say, ‘I’m going to replace this,’ or ‘Oh my, this tree died, I’m going to just dig it up and put another tree there in the same place,’ thinking I’m not going to hit anything because there was a tree there.”

However, it is the responsibility of the person digging to avoid damaging marked lines, so make sure to Call Before You Dig.

For more on 811 day click here.