March 31 is the deadline for all Sunshine 811 members to get their damage data entered into the Florida Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT).

Damage reporting is mandatory for Sunshine 811 members per s.556.105(12)(b). Sunshine 811 uses this crucial data to plan new education, awareness and damage prevention initiatives. But, a few significant data points are often reported as unknown, giving Sunshine 811 an incomplete picture of what is happening in Florida.

This year, we urge our members to report their damage data, and include the data that will help us better target where more education or awareness is needed. Those data points include excavator type, equipment type, work type, and root cause.

For more information, please visit our Florida DIRT page.

Avoid these DIRT mistakes when loading your data

Steve Blaney, DIRT Program Manager

The start of a new year is typically the time to review the past 12 months and get organized for the coming year. Near the top of all DIRT user lists is loading DIRT data. The following are some mistakes we occasionally find in the data that are likely based on confusion or misunderstandings:

Mistake: Entering above-ground or non-excavation events as underground damages


The annual DIRT reports and dashboards focus on excavation-related underground damages. CGA also collects and analyzes underground near miss data. DIRT also accepts reports on above-grade and other “non-excavation” damages, but these are offered for users who want to use DIRT as their internal record-keeping system. If you do not use DIRT in this manner, please leave out reports for events such as: car hit meter or pole, lawnmower broke valve, dump truck snagged overhead wires, etc. If you do use DIRT this way, be sure to select the appropriate Type of Event.

Mistake: Leaving City and Address fields blank

DIRT allows these fields to be blank because not all events occur in an incorporated town, city, or village, and not always at or near a building or property with an address. However, this practice complicates efforts to identify multiple reports of the same event. It can lead to false positive matches because the algorithms end up comparing blank against blank for these fields and treat it as a match. The practice can also cause actual matches to be missed if one party enters the information and another party leaves it blank. If you do have the information, please enter it rather than leave it blank just because it is allowed.

Mistake:  Improper use of “Call Center Error” root cause

This root cause is intended for errors at or by the one call center, such as not correctly entering the work site on the ticket. It is not for errors by excavators with respect to their 811 notification, such as providing wrong information or not making notification at all.  For those situations, please choose one of these options:

  • No notification made to One-Call Center/811

  • Excavator dug outside area described on ticket

  • Excavator dug prior to valid start date/time

  • Excavator dug after valid ticket expired

  • Excavator provided incorrect notification information

Mistake:  Improper use of Liquid Pipeline as Source of Event Information

Reports have been entered in DIRT with water as the facility damaged and liquid pipeline as the event source. On closer review we find the submitter is a water provider. Water is a liquid, but the Liquid Pipeline event source is intended for companies that transport hazardous products like oil or propane.  Private Water or Public Works should usually be the event source for water facility damages.

For questions about the DIRT Report, email Steven Blaney.