The Federal Communications Commission has designated 811 as the nationwide number for contractors and others to call before conducting excavation activities.

This nationwide abbreviated dialing code will provide an effective replacement for an array of numbers used across the nation to connect to communication systems operated by underground utility operators and state and local governments. “One Call” notification systems enable contractors to give advance notice of their plans to excavate so that utility companies can mark underground facilities prior to excavation to prevent damage to these facilities.

Established by the U.S. DOT in 1994, the nation's 71 One Call Centers receive about 15 million calls annually. An estimated 40% of the incidents in which underground pipelines and other facilities were damaged were caused by those who did not call before digging.

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