April is National Safe Digging Month and Georgia 8-1-1 is putting out the word to call before you dig.
Cliff Meidl is the national spokesman for 8-1-1. In 1986, he survived being badly burned when was using a jack hammer and ruptured an electrical line.
Part of his rehabilitation included taking up kayaking to rebuild his body. The sport grew on him and Meidl went on to compete in the 1996 Olympics at the venue on Lake Lanier.
"After many years of training," Meidl says. I had the incredible opportunity to race for the United States Olympic Team in sport of Sprint Kayaking."
Meidl said using the 8-1-1 service is not only easy, it is essential.
"The ramifications can be very severe, even life threatening if you do not make that contact to 8-1-1," said Meidl. "There is a lot of different underground infrastructure that we have all over the United States and it is very easy to be able to penetrate ."
At least two days before you dig, call 8-1-1 or go online to GA-811.com and register. A utility worker will come out and mark the property to let you know where underground utilities are located.
Using 8-1-1 is not only well advised, it is also the law. This applies to any sort of excavating even as small as installing a fence , a mail box or plating. Failing to do so can result in fines, especially if you hit something that interrupts utility service.