Call before digging

Published 1:25 am Sunday, August 11, 2013

With Aug. 11 here once again, Alliant Energy hopes that the date, 8/11, will serve as a reminder for residents to call 811 before they dig. Calling 811 helps prevent potentially dangerous accidents involving buried utility lines like natural gas, electric, and internet.

Every year across the country, thousands of people dig into a buried natural gas line or other underground lines. Striking a line can result in injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages to the person digging and their neighbors. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. A national report recently found that small fencing, irrigation and landscaping contractors were most often involved in digging incidents. Often, it was from a failure to call 811 before starting work.

When a customer calls 811, area utilities are notified. They will send professional locators to the digging site. Once on scene, locators mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and or paint. Call at least 48 hours before starting a digging project. When you start to dig, stay at least 24 inches away from the marked lines. Distance requirements vary by state, so ask for guidelines when calling 811.

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