North Little Rock Mayor Joe A. Smith has proclaimed April as Safe Digging Month and CenterPoint Energy is partnering with his office along with the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) and the Regional Damage Prevention Council to increase awareness of safe digging practices.

CenterPoint Energy reminds homeowners and contractors that they need to call 811 before digging or excavating during the heavy summer excavation months of on-going construction projects. One free call to 811 before digging can prevent injuries, property damage, service disruption and possibly costly fines for damaged infrastructure.

Since the 811 "Call Before You Dig" campaign was created in 2004, there has been roughly a 40 percent reduction in excavation damages. Homeowners and professional excavators in North Little Rock can visit the Web to make their requests through the internet. For more information, visit

"If you call 811 before digging, 99 percent of the time there will be no damage to underground utilities," said Gail Martin, supervisor of Damage Prevention for CenterPoint Energy. "It is important that everyone digs with C.A.R.E. Call 811 before your dig. Allow 48-hours for the utility lines to be marked. Respect the marks, which means hand dig within 18-inches of the marks. Excavate carefully."

The depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. So, whether it’s a small project like planting trees or shrubs or hiring a professional for a special outdoor project, smart digging means calling 811 before each job, according to Martin.