Call 811 to have utility lines marked before you dig: It’s free, it’s safe and it’s the law
There once was a farmer who decided he needed to replace a 20-plus-year-old fence post.
This particular farmer knew about 811, the free service that arranges for professionals to mark the location of underground utility lines.
But in the farmer’s mind, since he was only “replacing” the post and not digging a new hole, he didn’t think he needed to call 811.
What he didn’t know was that between the time he’d placed the original post and when he decided to replace it, a gas line had been installed.
Fortunately, this farmer was lucky. He didn’t damage the line, and the utility didn’t fine him. Most importantly, he escaped with his life.
The farmer’s accident story is a true one. But it’s no accident that National Safe Digging Day is Aug. 11 — or 8-1-1.
No matter what the date, the law requires that you call 811 to have underground utility lines marked before you break ground. That’s true whether you’re a homeowner setting a fencepost or a contractor conducting a large excavation.You can also enter your request at call811.com.
“Safety is always our first priority at Black Hills Energy, and we want to help our customers stay safe,” said Nick Gardner, general manager of Black Hills Energy’s Kansas gas operations. “When you’re planning to dig, don’t make a judgment call, make a phone call; call 811 two to five business days before you plan to dig.”
Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone didn’t call 811. The risk can lurk just inches below the surface. A hit line carries the potential for serious injury and expensive property damage.
Visit www.blackhillsenergy.com for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.
And call 811 before you dig: It’s free, it’s safe and it’s the law.