811 Calls Increasing in Indiana
Indiana 811, the state's call-before-you-dig service took 846,929 calls from professional excavators and do-it-yourself homeowners in 2012. That was up 12 percent from 2011. And the service takes that as a good sign for recovery from recession.
"2008 and 2009, we had a decrease," says Chuck Muller, Director of Public and Member Relations for Indiana 811. "But since then, we have rebounded and have surpassed any of the call volume that we have taken in the past."
And each one of those calls represents another construction or home improvement project. This may not be the theory of an economist, but Muller takes that as a sign of a more active economy. But he sees another possible factor in last summer's drought
"The drought hurt the agriculture economy," says Muller. "But the construction economy--they were able to get more work in because there weren't any wet days."
Whatever the economic influence might be, Muller is glad to see people are calling before they dig.
"The utilities want to come out and mark their lines so they don't get damaged." he said. :That valuable underground infrastructure needs to be maintained. And to protect it from people digging into it is very important to our member utilities."