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Digger Dog teaches underground utilities safety

Special Photo 
Students at Unity Grove Elementary School in Locust Grove gathered around Georgia 811 mascot Digger Dog, during an underground utilities safety presentation.

Special Photo Students at Unity Grove Elementary School in Locust Grove gathered around Georgia 811 mascot Digger Dog, during an underground utilities safety presentation.

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Area residents may find more time to do yard work or home renovations during the long summer months. Children, too, may have more time to dig around outside of their designated sandboxes.

Residents are being encouraged, however, to contact Georgia 811 for guidance on digging to keep safe. Georgia 811 is a non-profit corporation which functions as a communication system among utility companies, professional excavators, and homeowners in order to prevent damage to the state's underground utilities.

To see that goal through, the non-profit also promotes public safety and awareness of underground utilities, according to Georgia 811 Liaison Manager Megan Estes.

Georgia 811's mascot, Digger Dog, recently visited Unity Grove Elementary School in Locust Grove to encourage second-graders to "know what's below and call before they dig."

Estes said the mascot explained to the students the importance of not damaging underground utility lines by digging safely, how to be safe near overhead power lines, and what to do if the power lines are down.

The liaison said the students discussed what the small color-coded flags and lines of spray paint on the ground represent, and how important it is that only authorized people move the flags. Students also experienced a demonstration on what they should do if they smell natural gas.

The non-profit's web site states that, by law, contractors and homeowners must contact Georgia 811 at least 48 hours before beginning any mechanized digging on properties.

Residents are asked to "call before you dig," by dialing 811, or 1(800) 282-7411. To learn more about Georgia 811, or the Georgia Dig Law, visit the web site: www.Georgia811.com. For information about the Digger Dog presentation, call (770) 823-3936.