LINCOLN, Neb. – Aug. 9, 2019 — Every few minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. August 11 is National Safe Digging Day, and Black Hills Energy hopes this calendar date will serve as a reminder to make a free call to 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked.
After a call is placed 2 to 5 days prior to any digging project, professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.
Striking a single gas line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.
“Nothing is more important to us than safety here at Black Hills Energy and over the last five year we have worked hard on our damage prevention efforts to ensure the safety of all our customers,” said Jeff Sylvester, vice president of operations for Black Hills Energy in Nebraska. “On August 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to reduce the risk of striking an underground utility line.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches or digging in a location that’s previously been marked, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Visit www.ne1call.com for more information about 811 and safe digging practices, and like the Black Hills Energy Facebook page to learn how you can enter the Black Hills Energy 811 Day sweepstakes giveaway.