“Now is the winter of our discontent,” begins Shakespeare’s play, Richard III.
Of course, the character was not talking about winter as in cold weather, but hey, it’s my blog so I’ll use it as a hook! Winter is about over, and spring is ready to begin this week! According to the astronomical definition the first day of spring is March 20. It is also called the spring equinox. The spring equinox happens at the same moment across the world but is converted to local time. This year, spring arrives on March 20th at: 6:45 P.M. EDT, 5:45 P.M. CDT, 4:45 P.M. MDT, and 3:45 P.M. PDT.
Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, and broadly to the universal ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth.
It’s also when the digging season gets going in full swing – and that means it’s time to brush up on your 811 skills. So, here’s an easy quiz.
Q: When should you call 811?
A: Whenever you are going to break the ground. Typically, you call if you are going to be digging deeper than 16 inches, but you never know how close to the surface utility lines/cables may be lurking.
Q: What does it cost to call 811?
A: Nada, nothing, zip, zero, gratis – it’s FREE.
Q: What happens when you call 811?
A: A friendly operator takes your dig information, including dig site, and issues you a ticket with that information. The operator then issues corresponding tickets to any utilities that may be in the vicinity of where you are proposing to dig. Those utilities have 48 hours to come out and mark the location of their underground lines, either spray painting or using small marker flags. And again, this service is FREE.
Q: Who should call 811?
A: Professional excavators, contractors, fence builders, plumbers, irrigation specialists, homeowners. If you are breaking ground – pick up the phone first.
Q: So why should you call 811?
A: By calling 811 prior to a dig, you are helping to protect Texas’ underground infrastructure. You are helping to protect the environment. You are avoiding possible property damage, injury or death to you or others if you should strike something below ground. You are getting a great service for FREE. And most importantly, you are OBEYING THE LAW.
So, welcome spring the right way by calling 811 before you dig. As Shakespeare said, “Calleth before thou diggeth – and know the joy of safe excavation!”
Ok, he didn’t really say that – but again, it’s my blog. See you next week!