The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Planning to dig? Be sure to call 811 first

August 9, 2022 | Julie Wasson | safety, tips
digging plant tree

Planning to plant some trees in your backyard to provide some shade? Before you start, be sure you’ve taken the important first step of calling Nebraska 811.

It’s a step that can save you time and money, and can help keep you safe – and it’s the law.

Nebraska 811 is a statewide, one-call notification center that links people who plan to excavate or dig with the owners of any underground facilities located on their property. August 11 is national 811 Day, which highlights the importance of calling 811 before a digging project.

When you contact the center, you will identify the area where you plan to dig. Once that area is identified, utilities with underground facilities in that area will be contacted. The utilities then have until your requested start date and time to mark their facilities.

You can use Nebraska 811’s mobile app to submit, monitor and manage your request, and to get a variety of information.

In 2021, OPPD responded to 199,541 requests to mark underground facilities, said John Buckley, director of Work Management and a member of the Nebraska 811 Board of Directors. The peak period for calls is March through October. During that time, the district can receive between 800 and 900 calls per day.

However, not all outdoor projects necessitate a call to Nebraska 811. Tilling up a garden may not require a call, Buckley said, but planting a tree, installing a fence or adding underground sprinklers would qualify.

Check out the graphic below for tips and instructions about calling Nebraska 811 before digging. In Iowa, you can also call 811 or visit Iowa One Call.

Nebraska 811

Author Image

About Julie Wasson

Julie Wasson is the brand journalism strategist at Omaha Public Power District and the editor of The Wire. She has more than 25 years of print journalism and social media experience, including two stints at the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Julie Wasson >

Leave a Comment


How Does That Work?


Leading the Way

Powerful Life


Working for You