5 Safety Tips for Spring Projects

Spring is in the air! Are you planning any outdoor projects? Landscaping, installing a mailbox or fence, or building a deck are some of the popular plans for homeowners each year. Make sure to call 811 a few days before digging. You will be connected to a local one call notification center that will take your information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged.

Remember to follow these steps when planning a digging project this spring:

  • Always call 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
  • Plan ahead. Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.
  • Confirm that all lines have been marked.
  • Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
  • If a contractor has been hired, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.

To learn more about 811 and safe digging practices and to download the free South Dakota 811 mobile app, visit SD811.com.