Underground Crew Awarded for Excellence

The maze of underground utilities grows larger every day.

Underground utility crew around small backhoe
This Snellville underground crew was recently recognized with the Golden Backhoe award for excellence in avoiding underground utility cuts and damage. Shown are, front from left, Line Crew Supervisor Dennis Simmons, Darrin Cain and Tommy Ledford. Back, Jonathan Brooks, Fred Muldrow and Josh Callaway. Not pictured, John Wanek.

All sorts of services hide their facilities in the ground. Of course, there are electric wires – but you’ll also find drinking water pipes, irrigation water pipes, natural gas pipes, sewer pipes, septic tanks and drain fields, television cables, phone wires and internet fiber, just to name a few.

That means the job of installing new lines where they can’t be seen isn’t getting any easier. How do underground utility crews avoid this tangle when they need to dig or trench?

Three simple numbers: 8 – 1 – 1.

811 is the first step in avoiding dangerous and costly utility cuts. Putting the Call Before You Dig system in motion gets underground lines located and marked so they can be avoided.

One Walton EMC crew has demonstrated exceptional care and diligence in avoiding inadvertent utility cuts over the past year. The Georgia Utilities Coordinating Council’s (GUCC) Golden Backhoe Award recognizes expertise in “keeping Georgia safe and connected.” At the recent GUCC conference, the Snellville crew led by Line Crew Supervisor Dennis Simmons brought home the award.

This marks the 12th consecutive year that a Walton EMC underground crew has been recognized with the Golden Backhoe.


By law, everyone must contact Georgia 811 at least 48 hours before beginning any mechanized digging. If you’re not sure what you’re doing requires a call, it’s always best to call anyway.

  1. Call 811 or visit my.ga811.com.
  2. Your information is relayed to all utilities with services at your location.
  3. Within 48 hours, each utility will locate and mark their underground lines.
  4. You can dig safely!