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‘Call Before You Dig’ Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary in Georgia

(February 19, 2024) —2024 marks Georgia 811’s 50th Anniversary. With the mission to promote safety and prevent utility damage, Georgia 811 will celebrate the occasion with various events, initiatives, and tributes to remind stakeholders and the general public of the importance of contacting 811 before digging.

In 1968, a tragic natural gas incident claimed the lives of several people at a daycare in Hapeville, Georgia. Georgia 811, originally doing business as the Utilities Protection Center, was formed in response. Housed at BellSouth, seven founding members including Atlanta Gas Light, BellSouth, Georgia Power, Colonial/Plantation/Transco Pipelines and Clayton County Water Authority began the process of creating a call center to help coordinate the locating of underground utility lines when digging was to occur in seven metro Atlanta counties. In 1974, the first locate tickets were processed.

Fifty years later, Georgia 811 now has over 850 utility members and processes more than 1.3 million tickets annually. Georgia 811 continues to provide notification services and educational resources to promote damage prevention of underground utility lines.

Homeowners, landscapers, and professional excavators are all encouraged to contact Georgia 811, either online or by dialing 811, at least three business days prior to digging. After submitting a ticket, Georgia 811 notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin around marked lines.

Georgia 811 will debut a video tribute to the victims of the 1968 Hapeville accident during their 2024 Damage Prevention Summits. Summits will be held at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center on September 19, at the Braselton Civic Center on October 3, and at the Dalton Convention Center on November 7. Detailed information and registration will be available on the Georgia 811 website, Georgia811.com, beginning in July.

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