Urge To Dig Is Strong; Do It Safely

Urge To Dig Is Strong; Do It Safely

April is officially "safe digging month," a reminder to call 811 to locate underground utility lines before you dig.

April, the traditional month of digging in the dirt, is now officially all about digging in the dirt, with the designation of April as National Safe Digging Month, followed by gubernatorial proclamation of "Safe Digging Month" in Kansas.

The point of the month is to remind Kansans to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects.

Urge To Dig Is Strong; Do It Safely

The Kansas Corporation Commission, Kansas One-Call, the Kansas Pipeline Association, the Common Ground Alliance, and Gov. Sam Brownback are encouraging excavators and homeowners to make the call before they begin digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage, and inconvenient outages. A utility line is damaged by digging once every three minutes nationwide, and one-third of those incidents are caused by failure of the professional excavator or homeowner to call 811 before digging.

When dialing 811, callers are connected to Kansas One-Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Calls are taken 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Requests can also be entered at www.kansasonecall.com. Excavators and homeowners are required to make a request at least two working days in advance of beginning a digging project. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin.

"We join Gov. Brownback in strongly encouraging individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging," said KCC Chairman Mark Sievers. "Locating underground lines is a shared responsibility, critical to your safety and to the integrity of our underground utility system. Enjoy the upcoming weather, but know what's below."

Striking a single line can result in injury, repair costs, fines, and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to 811. The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple lines in a common area. Some utility lines are buried only a few inches below the surface, making them easy to strike during shallow digging projects. Installing a mailbox, landscaping, putting in a fence, and building a deck are all examples of digging projects that necessitate a call to 811 before starting.

Learn more about 811 and Safe Digging Month by visiting: www.call811.com. More information about Kansas One-Call is available at: www.kansasonecall.com.

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